X-Preacher's Kid

sent in by Angie

I was born and raised in the Church of Christ. My father was a preacher from the time I was 8. He says he went to preaching school to prove the bible false but come to find out he really went to get the approval of his father. He would have surely found discrepancies if he had look hard enough. By the time I turned 11 my father was having inappropriate relations with me. Talk about living with a hypocrite, but still I followed the mindless Christian path. To cope with what I was going through I pushed it all far away. 2 years ago I started having a break down and finally came out with my 22 year old secret of incest. My father at this time had lost his ‘church’ due to his own crazy teachings and actions.

I became a christian 'by being baptized'... yada yada yada... to hopefully make my dad stop touching me and having sex with me. Well that didn't work. How does a young girl tell the world that her dad the preacher was sexually molesting her? I never did, I just coped by pushing it all away.

Since I told my secret I felt free to ‘feel’ and I knew Christianity didn’t feel good to me at all. It really never did. I just couldn’t understand 99% of what I was being taught. It all never made sense to me, and I even tried to teach it one time and I said “Well it’s in the Bible” HA!!!! Hell if I knew where, but I knew it was truth because I heard my dad say it. Thank God/Source or Al Gore for the Internet because I’ve found a wealth of information that has rocketed me into what feels so right for me now. I still struggle with what to call myself but I don’t get hung up on labels. I love the term sacred feminine and the more I learn about that the more I’m intrigued.

I do have a list of what I believe at this point in my life and of course my beliefs are subject to change at any point in time that I choose fits my life!
Here is what I believe:
I believe there is no hell
I believe there is no devil or source of evil,
only source of good and well being.
I believe we as humans pinch ourselves off
from this source of good which then causes
disease, anger, hatred, negative garbage.
I believe in the metaphysical world.
I believe we came from source/God/Pure Positive Energy.
I believe God/Source decided to know his/her self one day and split
and became 'this' and 'that' and from there expanded. The
universe is still expanding, there is scientific proof of that.
I believe when we die we just transform back to this
Pure Positive Energy. WE ALL DO, everyone goes to
'heaven'. But it's not the heaven we've been taught, it's
not the heaven of streets of gold with an old grey bearded
man sitting on a throne being judgmental of the world.
I believe we come here to experience JOY.
I believe that LOVE is the highest emotion, highest form
of communication.
I believe we choose to come here, we choose our parents
and that we've had this choice hundreds of times.
Each time we reemerge into this earthly plain we are caused
to forget where we came from, and some of us are seekers
to the truth of which we came and some are not. Not being a
seeker is not a bad choice, it is only a 'choice'.
We all come here to experience life of our own choosing.
I believe we create everything in our lives by our thoughts
given to it.
I believe in the Law of Attraction, that which is like unto it's self
is drawn. What we give our focus too is what is attracted back
into our lives, either negative or positive.
I believe that no one is keeping score of our rights and wrongs
because we all come here with choices and to experience.
I believe we can't get it wrong and we never get it done.

I've learned alot from metaphysical teachers that call themselves Abraham and channel through Esther Hicks. Wether you believe in channeling or not is fine with me but these folks have brought alot of peace to my life and you can find them HERE.

Thanks to all that make this site what it is. You have created a wonderful place here to come and learn and laugh and enjoy and hang out with like minded folk!

State: Kansas
Country: USA
Became a Christian: Born into it
Ceased being a Christian: 34
Labels before: Church of Christ
Labels now: Sacrad Feminine
Why I joined: To make my Father(the preacher) to stop touching me
Why I left: I have learned the 'truth'
Email Address: kjellberg@kans.com

I Saw the Light

sent in by Chris

Ever since I can remember, I went to church. Unlike many of you, luckily I was not subjected to harsh Fundamentalism thinking, though strong religious thinking runs deep in my family.

I first started attending church at a Nazarene church, but the only thing I remember about that is attending with my best friend and his father. I only went to have fun with my friend.

The second and last church (on any regular basis) I attended was a General Baptist church, in which my wife and mother still attend. If there was any joke of a church, this has to be one. Attendance has dwindled to probably no more than 20 people a service, except for religious holidays. They’ve been through at least 3 pastors in the past 3 or so years. And one of them thought it would be better to buy a $2000 sound system than to feed the needy, which he ended up doing without the church board’s approval. Wow… some Christianly duty.

Anyway, I had stopped attending church on a regular basis only because I found it extremely boring. I believed in God and Christ, and thought that the bible was God’s inerrant word. Like most Fundies, I had a very vague knowledge of the bible, but felt a literal translation was the only correct way of obtaining salvation.

Around the beginning of 2003, hearing things that my sisters (who are very religious) spoke of started to scare me. I was sure we were living in the “end times”. It seemed like many prophecies were being played out.

I decided to research bible prophesy online, and my research always led me to the typical Fundie / Apologetic website.

I also came across a doomsday website about a make-believe Planet X, and I recall telling myself and others the typical Christian response: If it is not in the bible, then it isn’t real! I also came across a Nostradamus website and had a long email discussion with the site’s owner why his and Nostradamus’ predictions were bullshit because none of it is in the bible.

All this time, I’ve held onto a saying my dad used to tell me – “Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see.” Though he died believing in the afterlife, he was a very smart man and I think given the knowledge that I now possess, he probably would have become at the very least an Agnostic. But I do believe his brand of religion helped him deal with the pain and suffering he endured at the end.

So, with my dad’s saying echoing in my head, I decided to be fair and give the “other side” a look. I happened upon Dan Barker’s Freedom from Religion site, Dennis McKinsey’s Bible Errancy site and many other Atheist sites. Believe me, the knowledge I gained from those sites truly blew me away. I had no idea of all the errors in the bible!

Having this knowledge lit a fire under my ass, and I spent many, many hours learning of the history of the bible and other religions.

Anyway, it is safe to say that I no longer believe that the bible is “inspired”. And as far as my beliefs go, I am still deciding. But at this point, I guess the best way to put it is that I am Agnostic.

But the real hard part that I am facing right now is letting my friends and family in on my lack of belief. I have told two of my friends, and while one now has some doubts, in light of my evidence, the other is hold strong to her beliefs. In all honesty though, I am not out to change anyone’s beliefs. I’ll only tell them the truth if they ask.

Sex: Male
State: Indiana
Country: USA
Became a Christian: On and off since birth
Ceased being a Christian: 32
Labels before: Nazarene, General Baptist
Labels now: Between Agnostic and Atheist
Why I joined: Fear of Hell
Why I left: Learned the truth!

One more on the side of enlightenment

sent in by Jason

I was born agnostic, as are all children, but both of my parents are Christian. My mom started me in church when I was five. She wanted to do what she felt was best for me; but she's never been able to see the religion from an honest, fresh, and impartial perspective. By the age of seven, I developed a keen interest in dinosaurs. I wondered whether the creation of man or the existence of dinosaurs came first. I learned in school and from my outside reading that dinosaurs were around for millions of years. Adam and Eve, on the other hand, were created in the first week six thousand years ago. I couldn't think of a way to resolve this discrepancy. I asked my mom, but she didn't know either. Instead, she advised me to ask my Sunday School teacher. Her answer was, "We don't know there were dinosaurs." I immediately realized the religion had problems if it resorted to such claims in order to explain scientific discrepancies; but as time went on, I simply attributed further contradictions with science as "explainable in some way" while holding on to the book of "absolute truth."

A great inspiration struck me one day in church when I realized billions of people who didn't accept Jesus as their savior were going to hell. In fact, they were over there in Asia thinking the exact same thing, with the roles reversed. But what if they were right and we were wrong? I remember justifying it by burying my head in the sand and saying Christianity is good and other religions are evil. I'm ashamed of ever thinking that. By the age of seventeen, I began making a list of all the absurd Old Testament rules and regulations God and Moses oppressed on us. Around that time, I completely disregarded the Old Testament as fact due to the cruelty and scientific error it presented. The Bible was no longer a perfect book, but the New Testament was still proof of a god to me. By the age of twenty, I finally did an impartial analysis on the prerequisites of entering heaven. They simply weren't fair. If the New Testament is true, members of other religions are going to hell because they're brainwashed by their respective teachers. They were simply doomed from the beginning. Plus, there was no evidence any of the events surrounding Jesus were true with the exception of four contradicting accounts written decades after the alleged events. It was just a little too convenient the fate of the world was decided in an age that wouldn't allow testable records. Because of this choice God made, no one could know for sure what really happened. All the while, he watches us in silence as we kill ourselves over who has the correct religion.

When I was twenty-two, the internet was in full blown use. I browsed the web to see if there were people who had made the same discoveries. I was amazed to find there were millions of freethinking individuals in America alone. Hundreds dedicated their lives to freeing others from a life of conditioned thought. Enormous amounts of evidence had been discovered that smashed the Bible's credibility to pieces. A select few had an understanding of the Bible far beyond what I ever hoped to ascertain. As for the Christian defense, I could see a lot of straw grasping. Their best spokesmen, having obtained bogus doctorates from paper mills, stretched and twisted biblical text in order to make it fit their agenda. The answer finally became obvious to me. If you undertake an honest, impartial, and emotionless analysis of the Bible, you can easily conclude it's not the word of a deity. Certain facts can't just be absolute truth. The creation of God's afterlife was nothing more than the human defense mechanism against death. All creatures fight for their survival; likewise, man has tricked himself into believing he's immortal.

Even with my newly discovered knowledge, I still attended church. I didn't want my mother to worry about me, so I went to make her happy. There are a few good lessons to be learned through the stories, and the people are some of the kindest I've ever met. At least they're kind to fellow Christians, but they generally don't desire to associate with "the misguided." Once I completed my minor in psychology, I had a better grasp on how religious systems work. Individuals associate with groups who hold similar interests and invite others to join. I had been mentally conditioned, and I tried to recruit others because that's what I was told God wanted me to do. I also realized many Christians don't even know what they believe because they never took the time to read the whole Bible. Their response to presented complications is usually "The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it." When it comes to religion, they're all zombies just like the cult members everyone watched burn in Waco, Texas. Christians are normal people in the real world, but their brains shut down on Sunday. Cult members can live normal lives most of the time, too.

My family still doesn't know I'm not Christian.

URL: http://errancypage.home.mindspring.com

City: Atlanta

State: GA

Country: USA

Became a Christian: 5

Ceased being a Christian: 20

Labels before: Southern Baptist

Labels now: Agnostic, but Atheist toward Christianity

Why I joined: I didn't want to go to hell. Persuading isn't it?

Why I left: Logic

Email Address: bowie1@mindspring.com

Christian Concern?

sent in by Kevin

When I had finally come up with sufficient courage to leave fundamentalism in order to take up secular work as a therapist, I had to come up with something to tell the congregations and individuals who supported me financially. I didn’t want to face an onslaught of letters from people trying to “re-convert” me, so I opted to simply say that my children were having some difficulties in life that could be best addressed if my family and I did not return to the mission field. While this was not false, it did shrink from telling the WHOLE truth about why I would not be going back to the field.

I mailed the letter to all of my “friends and supporters” and then waited.

And waited . . . .

And waited . . . .

I was surprised that there was no response from anybody. Nobody bothered to try and contact me to see what kind of problems my children were having. The only thing they were quick to do was to pull my financial support.

This all happened in April of 2003. Just last week my wife showed me the ONE letter that came in response to my resignation. She had not wanted to let me see it because when it had arrived I was quite depressed. She let me see the letter now, and I was shocked as I read it.

The letter was from a supporting pastor who did nothing more than launch into a tirade about how I was abandoning God’s call for my life. He also laid on plenty of guilt about how his church had supported us and now we were “backing out.” He then pled with me to reconsider and return to the field.

Not once did he bother to ask me why I was leaving. Not once did he ask about my family and how we were doing. He was only concerned about “getting us to go back.”

Any thoughts?


City: Yuma

State: AZ

Country: USA

Became a Christian: 18

Ceased being a Christian: 36

Labels before: Independent Baptist; Charismatic

Labels now: Atheist

Why I joined: A long story . . . .

Why I left: I was won over by logic and reason

Ex Mennonite

sent in by Marvin

Hi my name is Marvin and I'm an exMennonite. For those who don't know what Mennonites are I'll give a brief description. Mennonites are very fundamentalist Christians who go way beyond the mainstream in their beliefs. For example they believe that television, radios, and other forms of entertainment is wrong. They dress differently than the rest of the world especially the women (almost the same as Amish). They have their own schools and try to avoid contact with the rest of the world as much as they can. I grew up in an environment where I had almost no contact with anyone outside of the Mennonites. With no TV or radio it meant that the influences in my life were almost completely controlled by my parents and the churches school.

I've always been the type of person to question everything though and there were a lot of things that didn't make sense to me. I bought into the Mennonite thing to a degree and joined the church when I was sixteen. I married a someone in the church when I was nineteen.

That's where things started to turn around for me though and I started to question the things that were being shoved down my throat. They controlled you life in and the way you thought in every way if they could. For example they didn't like the length of my hair so they made me stand up in front of the congregation and say I was sorry. If I had not done that they would have told me I'm going to hell and excommunicated me.

After I was married I was able to get away from the really strict Mennonite church and joined a more liberal sect. The only problem was the thinking was the same when you really stripped away all the rhetoric. You had to conform or else you were an ungodly proud heathen who refused to bow to Jesus on the cross who and made the supreme sacrifice for you. Anyone who didn't do that was unbelievably proud and incredibly stupid. The only problem in my mind was that the people who believed the most fervently where the most ignorant.

I actually became a Sunday School teacher for my age group and started to research things from a biblical perspective and discovered that Mennonite beliefs were way our of the mainstream. Instead of swallowing the party line I started teaching things that went against church beliefs and did that get me in trouble LOL. The pastors visited me within a week to see what could be done about the "problem". I refused to accept their interpretation of the bible and they told me that I wasn't one of them until I was ready to accept the teachings of the church.

About a two years later my Mennonite wife had an affair. That was when I realized that all this Christian bullshit was a total waste of time. Anyone that believes this fairytale should be put on medication. After my wife left me all my Mennonite friends deserted me because I was contaminated by adultery or some such crap. In the two years since she left all the people who are filled with the love or Christ have never picked up the phone to call me. When I would meet them somewhere in public it would always be uncomfortable. Within a year I moved out of state and if any of those former friends call I'll be to busy to talk to them. Since then I want nothing to do with Christianity. I have better things to do with my time thank you very much.

City: Calabash

State: NC

Country: USA

Became a Christian: 16

Ceased being a Christian: 25

Labels before: Old order Mennonite

Labels now: What labels, if any would you apply to yourself now?

Why I joined: Why did you become a Christian?

Why I left: there were to many things that didn't make logical sense

Email Address: marvi205@atmc.net

Pushed Into Seeking Looking for the Truth

sent in by Todd

I would have to say that I never really feel like I totally bought into the bible, when I was growing up. I was brought up in a Xtian church, but it wasn't a really strict fundamentalist church by any means. My mother made did make me go to church as much as possible and attended bible school and church camps over the summer, but I only really had fun for the socialization aspect and not the stories of jesus being told.

I have memories of questioning things at a rather young age. My mother had taken me to the minister a few times during my youth, when I had fears of "what if there wasn't a heaven when we die?" and similar thoughts. I would just be told over and over about how god loves me and how I would go to heaven. So, I never had a very strong faith growing up, which made it easy for me to leave it behind when I went to college.

When I went to college, I would tell my mother I was attending church just to make her happy, but I never went once while in school. In college, every few weeks, there would be a group of bible thumpers "preaching the word of the lord" on campus and viewing these people made me more and more disgusted with the religion.

My second semester at school I had a professor, that was an atheist, and one week when a frequent bible thumper was on campus, he started talking about a lot of the faults in the bible, this was the first time I really started to think about the bible from a different perspective. After that point, I never have believed the bible since.

Even though I didn't believe in Xtianity, I didn't know what I believed. It wasn't until a few years later, that I decided to start looking for what I believed.

It was a combination of things that fueled my desire to find out what it was. One was after the last church service, other than a few weddings, that I have attended. It was an Easter church service about 2 years ago. I sat through the service with my family, rolling my eyes over all the BS being said during the service. I remember one thing in particular though. They was a video of a lady from the congregation that went skydiving and had it taped. It was titled "Leap of Faith", she went on and on about how god brought her back down safely. On the ride home, I rode with my sister back to her house, where all the family was going. I started laughing and telling her what a bunch of crap that was about god bringing her safely back to earth. I was like, "yeah it couldn't have been her parachute."

From that point on I have come out to my family about my religious beliefs. The other thing that pushed me into searching for the truth, is that I lost the one woman I have ever loved to one of those damn fundamentalist churches. When we were together her faith wasn't really that strong in the church, but since we have parted, she is now a reborn Xtian and a brainwashed person, that I don't even know anymore. Her family pulled her back into the church and saved her from this "non-believer". That is a really long story, so I won't go into detail.

Believe me though, it has given me a bone to pick with fundamentalist Xtians.

City: Lincoln

State: NE

Country: U.S.A.

Became a Christian: I was born into a Xtian family.

Ceased being a Christian: 20

Labels before: Christian

Labels now: I am a Deist

Why I joined: I was brought into it by my family.

Why I left: Eye opening experiences in college

The truth shall set you free

sent in by Loren Charles Estes,III

Where to begin? This is the shortest as well as the longest story of my life. I was raised as a christian. I was also raised in a very emotionally mixed up family with alot of anger thrown in for good measure. It wasn't all bad, I had brothers and a sister. I'm the oldest of 6 kids. I had a father and mother that did the best that they could, though I would say they were not really prepared to have the family they had. I considered myself to be the one who would be most likely to be the christian we had all hoped we would be. You know working with those less able to look after themselves. Nothing wrong with that really except that it really got in the way of me growing up to be me. I mean I had my life mapped out by everyone who had charge over me and noone thought about my thoughts on the subject at all. Well that didn't sit well with me and by the time I had been though 3 major religious shifts I was 17 and had had enough. But I still had all the fear that was burned into my mind to deal with. That my friends would take many years to figure out. I mean once you leave the christain nest of your own accord you will get no help. So I spent 1/2 my life doing things that I thought would help me grow to be the person I am today.

First, I was too proud or embarassed to go back to public school after my parents uprooted the family and moved us to northern British Columbia where I lost a 18 months of my life to a cult calling themselves the End Time Move. Now that was a deluded bunch of people. That alone was worth a lifetime of rehab. Everything those people put their hands to turned to crap and they even had the nerve to tell me that I didn't have the right to buy myself a jacket to keep myself warm without their ok first.You know what I told those bastards with my parents listening in the same room? I told them to stuff it up their ass. I had such big balls back then. It wasn't long after that that I left the "move" as they like to call it.

Then there was the great idea to get a "ged" and then join the United States Marine Corps. In all fairness if someone had known how messed up I was from the christian cult experiance then I probably would not have gone in the service. To set the record straight I want everyone to know that I have the highest resect for the Marine corps and I wish things had gone differently. Water under the bridge really. After that I thought I know I'll get married.. 2 or 3 times. The third one stuck but the first 2 really put the boots to me for almost 20 years.

Then there was the moving from one side of the country to the other. I did that a few times. Then there were the jobs, so many jobs. Talk about a low thrasehold for bordom.

So how did I turn this all around and make it work for me. Well I'm not rich but I make a living like most people and keep a steady job. I look after my family as best as I can and save alittle here and there for the things I know I will need down the road. I do not celibrate any holidays except my anniversery and the families birthdays. The only prayers we say are the thanks we give to each other at meal times.

I would like to give credit where credit is due. In the bible there is a verse that say seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given to you, knock and the door shall be open unto you. It was very useful to me. I learned not to throw good information away. If you get all of jesus savior crap and religion out of the bible and just look at it as fair information then there is no harm done. But if you can't then by all means look somewhere esle as I had first. Fear is stealing from us our very breath. Even if you come to some if any of the same conclusions as I did and realise that this planet was nothing more then a great exparement and we are the result so what? If you think different so what? For now the earth will rotate, there will be rain and sun, etc. I think peace will come when we can get past ourselves and get our governments to think about the health of this planet. But if you are like me then we agree it ain't coming soon.

Became a Christian: I became a chritian at 12

Ceased being a Christian: Stopped being a christian at 17

Labels before: To many to count

Labels now: I don't like to advertise for others, so no labels apply

Why I joined: I was a child, what did I know

Why I left: Knowledge, many years of research

Holy Shit is right

sent in by Sam

After years of watching my mother drink herself into a stupor every night, something even more dysfunctional came to be. Upon learning of her pregnancy, she reconciled with and married an ex-boyfriend, who happened to be a church of christ preacher. So, after years of unsupervised delinquency, I was suddenly smashed in the face with all of these ridiculous rules and regulations brought about by her new husband (religion).

Of course, I rebelled. And what better way than to fully immerse oneself in witchcraft! Regardless of my heartfelt angst, I was always a pacifist. So, the ways of Wicca appealed to me, and even in retrospect I feel it was a very positive experience for me at that time.

However, as I grew older and was failing in many areas of my life, I began to wonder if maybe my Mom was right. I mean, I hadn't even given her the opportunity to explain what she believed in. So, I gave it a go.

Hmmm...where to begin...ahhh...yes, the brainwashing! Not only do these crutch of christ people believe in the bible as the word of god, but they believe EVERY single solitary sect other than their own is going straight to Hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I felt like it was a sin to breathe! These people had me second-guessing my every move, because even though I had come to the light, I was still not good enough! And I never would be.

Luckily, throughout the course of my studies with these weirdos, I was able to take advantage of a full-length bible study. The whole damned book all the way through! That's when I started seeing inconsistencies. And that's when I wanted to know more about the history of the bible and of religion in general. Why the hell did these people believe this book was literally written by god? (through quite a few humans, of course)

This is about the time I started putting two and two together and realized that maybe it was all just a big crock with a great big hidden agenda. I also learned more about self-hypnosis and just how powerful it is and realized why it seemed like all of my Wiccan rituals "worked" I have since befriended science and Darwinian theory. I feel more at peace now than ever in my life, I have purpose, my life has meaning, and I care more about the welfare of ALL people. (not just my "brethren")

I will be more than happy to elaborate on any of the above subject matter with anybody who chooses to Email me.

City: Cleveland

State: OH

Country: USA

Became a Christian: 20

Ceased being a Christian: 22

Labels before: Pagan, church of christ

Labels now: Total Atheist

Why I joined: Felt I had based my disbelief on ignorance

Why I left: Once I had the knowledge I concluded it was illogical and downright insane.

Email Address: sugarcoatedsour@sbcglobal.net

A house built on sand

sent in by exhihhuli

Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount to build the houses of our faith on the solid rock of his teachings (Mt 7:24-27). Too bad that the religion based on his teachings is a house built on sand. However strong you make the internal structure of your faith, there is no external rock that it is anchored to. So when the flood of rational thinking hits it, it will fail.

My parents became born again Christians when I was 5. They started in Pentecostal and Lutheran circles, but soon ended in charismatic and Word of Faith (you know, the name-it-and-claim-it bunch, e.g. Hagin, Copeland, Oral Roberts) connections, though there were no such churches in the area we lived. As the only child I grew up with the faith, starting to speak in tongues at 7 and getting baptized at 14.

When the super-charismatic "Toronto movement" landed in Finland in 1995 (I was 18), our family jumped in with no restraints, as the drawbacks of the Word of Faith movement had started to become evident (no matter how you believed and confessed your wish, nothing extraordinary happened). I laughed, cried, shook, groaned, fell to the floor and tipped people over in prayer all through the latter part of the 90s, feeling that God's presence in my life was very tangible. I visited the main pilgrimage targets of the movement (Toronto, Pensacola and Tampa) and spent a lot of time in church related things. Personally I was most interested in the praise&worship music, singing and playing in a couple church "house bands". In all that time I never questioned my faith.

I remember making a conscious choice when I was 11 or 12 to never allow myself to criticize my faith intellectually. The teaching I received discounted the "earthly wisdom" and made the blind faith in the inerrancy of the bible the ideal to strive towards. I had noticed that I was rather good at school and with a disposition to science and pondering. Therefore I feared that my intellect might lead me away from the Lord. So from that on I never took the time to really examine my beliefs. I learned about evidence for the evolution but simply chose to believe in creation. I read about the problems in the bible, but never linked them to my belief in the inerrancy of the book. I noticed some of the inconsistencies in the fundamentalist Christian faith, and saw the discrepancy between the promises and the reality, but never considered their effect on the big picture. I am really amazed about the capability of the human mind to hold contradictory beliefs and direct the focus past them.

For reasons still unknown to me, the degree that I could lose myself in the charismatic feeling started to wane a couple of years ago. At first I interpreted it so that God wanted me, one of the most advanced Christians on the planet to step to a new level of faith that is beyond charismatic (quite extreme religious pride, but what else can you expect when one is taught that one is the focus of God's attention and he will do whatever I pray in his name). But over time I started to question the charismatic experience and see how the driving force behind them is more human emotions and less the holy spirit. That led to deeper soul searching. Finally about a year ago I started to think through by beliefs.

It all started simply by wondering the racism of Jesus towards the syrophoeinicean (sp?) woman, but within one week I was forced to admit the inconsistency of my faith and reverted to deism. I understood that the two main pillars of my faith were actually circular arguments. One was the bible, which clearly declared that God exists and what he wants. However, when I gave myself permission to take one step back to examine bible from without, it no longer was possible to consider it as a word of God, with all the inconsistencies and the unreliable origin. The other pillar, my personal experience, was similar. When I opened the door for the possibility of alternative explanations, no charismatic experience was no longer a reliable witness.

In the little less than year that has gone since that week I have lost the deistic position, labeling myself currently agnostic. There are still some experiences in my Christian past that I cannot reliably explain, so I do not have the courage to descry myself as atheist. Sometimes I wonder where I will end. I know that part of the reason I have set myself apart from Christianity are the bad experiences from the charismatic circles. Maybe as their effect wears off, I will bounce back somewhat, though certainly not back to fundamentalism and charismatism. But on the other hand there is no denying the fact that I cannot rationally support the Christian faith. However, to be honest I envy the people that can take the emotional benefit of trusting in something bigger than this world despite the logical inconsistencies. I believe that for many it is a positive strength in their lives, provided that they do not lean too much on their inexistent crutch.

It has not been that easy to strip down two decades of indoctrination. Though I feel now more free in my mind than ever before, the emotional strain is quite clear. Added to that is the fact that my wife is still a believer (though she has moderated a lot over the same time I have lost my faith) and my parents are full-blown charismatics, getting their living from holding "holy spirit meetings" and providing e-mail teaching newsletters on the charismatic side of the faith.

I am glad that I have found in this site and elsewhere in the Net that I am not the only one to have taken this trip. Hopefully my story helps in turn somebody that is still trying to leave the camp. Jesus' advice on building on the rock is still sensible. It just happens that the rock is reason and the sand Christianity.

There is a lot more that I could share about my journey. I'll probably come back to those on the forum later.

Sex: M

City: Helsinki

Country: Finland

Became a Christian: 5

Ceased being a Christian: 25

Labels before: Charismatic, Fundamentalist, Word of Faith...

Labels now: Agnostic

Why I joined: Parents converted, I grew up with the faith

Why I left: Allowed myself to examine my faith from without, found out that I could no longer rationally support my beliefs

I'd rather believe in myself

sent in by Sallie

I went to a small Nazarene church when I was little, and it had things for the kids to do, so I became very involved in the Caravans and Quizzing programs. In Caravans, you learned verses and such and earned patches -- kind of like Bible boy and girl scouts. Quizzing we studied books of the bible and went to competitions where we were tested on our knowledge and got trophies and ribbons and such state-wide!

Then I went to middle school and befriended a Mormon girl, who gave me a Book of Mormon, and then they started telling me how her religion was evil and so on and so forth, and I started wondering about which church was right. I went to several churches over the years and participated in several youth groups, but I eventually converted to Mormonism when I was seventeen, and quickly quit believing after hearing a bunch of the fucked-up doctrine. I also came out as bisexual, and had to sit through Mormon therapy that told me that I was no better than a child molester because of that. Asshole.

I went to college and went to a gay-friendly church, a catholic church, and even some wicca meetings. After college, I met a friend who was Messianic Jew, and got into all of that, too. All in all, I would have to say it's been one hell of an intersting experience, and hey, it's mostly been fun! I've learned about a lot of different belief systems, which has lead me to one conclusion --


That's right, they're all crap. Basically, religion is a way of explaining why your life sucks so you can have someone to blame it all on, now that we have science to explain such things as, oh say, the weather. There is no such thing as one true church, just what you decide to believe is the truth. I don't need to pore over my bible for hours to figure that out.

However, letting go of my old beliefs was not easy. When I was 21, I had an abortion, and met a wonderful woman that I truly loved and wanted to spend the rest of my life with, which made me wonder if I truly was going to go to hell. That sucked! I'd see one of those awful Jack Chick tracts and get the shivers, knowing I'd believed in that shit for so long. Even with all my religion-hopping, I'd never quite let go of those basic beliefs. I had a tendency to go to a church and throw myself into it, only to later get fed up with it and move on. So instead, I didn't go to church for 2 years, and studied everything on my own.

A few weeks ago I went to a church in my town, and that was when I finally met some people who felt the same way that I did -- that there was a God, but not the asshole church god that I knew and loved, and that the true religion is what's right for you!

And that is where I finally found my closure.

URL: http://www.geocities.com/xenagoddess18

State: Co

Country: USA

Became a Christian: 7

Ceased being a Christian: 23

Labels before: Nazarene, LDS, Messianic Jew

Labels now: My own path

Why I joined: Going to church with mom was fun! And I got cool prizes!

Why I left: I decided it was all a bunch of shit!

Atheist, Brother of Christian

sent in by Deamond

(First, a warning; this story doesn't get interesting until well after I became an Atheist.)

Perhaps it was a mistake for a catholic school to bring children on an excursion to a museum, because such places, unlike schools, encourage you to THINK.

When I was a kid, I had a tendency to question everything. I would never do anything I was told unless they explained to me why I should. I knew, from an early age, I would never be a very good soldier.

I once believed in God, and back then, I also believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Witches, Vampires, Bugs Bunny, you name it. I think I believed in Santa longer than God, actually. I think Courtney Love said it best; "I don't really miss God, but I sure do miss Santa Clause!"

After I became aware of the contradictions between Religion and Science, I began thinking about it. During that time, I didn't know the word "Agnostic", but that's what I was.

I was also aware of other religions, and became aware of the similarities between them. In Australia, there are about 500 different aboriginal tribes, each with their own language and culture. They too have their own genesis stories.

In one story, the Tortoise and the Echidna (An Echidna is a small, ant-eating, semi-subterranean marsupial with a long nose and long sticky tongue, and its back in covered in quills, like a hedgehog, only smaller.)

The two animals were fighting, the Echidna was throwing rocks and the Tortoise was throwing sticks, and somehow the resulting injuries were passed down genetically from one generation to the next, WITH the sticks and rocks, resulting in the shells and quills of today.

The same theme can also be seen in Christianity; the idea that an injury (The loss of a rib) can somehow be passed on genetically.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that Christianity is no different from Greek or Egyptian mythology, whereas Science is actually based on evidence. I also suspect that belief in God is actually very similar to belief in Santa in many respects, is the "Mommy wouldn't lie to me" thing.

It wasn't until long after I became a Atheist that I found out about my parent's own religious doubts.

My Dad was raised Catholic, as I was, and he believes that there is a god, but he doesn't believe everything the Church or the Bible says.

Mum is religious but not a fanatic. She has a sense of humor, she's interested in saints, but she told me once she doesn't believe in Angels.

(Here's where the story gets interesting)

my older brother is a Christian. He's also a liar, a smoker, a drunk, a drug user, a hypocrite, a dickhead, an asshole, a thief, and basically an adult toddler with a drug habit. He claims he is not addicted, yet he has yet to quit, at least, at any given time, he'll usually have used "Choof" as he calls it more recently than the last time he claimed he quit. He's completely selfish and self-centered, he has little concept of logic, and he has a self-serving sense of right and wrong (As I says, he's a hypocrite).

The "Choof" by the way is the cause of his schizophrenia, yet he keeps using it. He was always an asshole and always will be, but now he's a STONED asshole. The first time I saw him really out of it (Just before we put him in a mental ward) he was talking about religion, but not all of it made any sense. The words were English, but the sentences were, I dunno.

I think there are two kinds of "Victims", one is where the word "Victim" is a simple matter of fact, as in someone to whom a crime occurred. The other is where the word "Victim" is a personality trait. Everything that ever happened to you, including your own actions, is everyone's fault but your own. A lot of victims are criminals, because, how can you feel guilt if your own actions weren't your own fault.

My brother is easily the second kind of Victim.

(Here's where it gets real interesting)

New Years, 2000/2001, 3am, a night no one concerned will soon forget.

I was asleep at the time, but Mum woke be up at 5 to tell me what happened at 3.

My brother stole mum's car and smashed it repeatedly into his now ex girlfriend's car (I won't say her name). Also;

*he was drunk
*and stoned
*didn't have a license
*no seatbelts
*took car without permission, and mum soon reported it stolen (I don't think she reported it stolen until after the fact)
*Earlier that night, already got in trouble with cops for disturbing the peace
*Possibly speeding
*Also used Mum's car to destroy a big mailbox (In Australia, some people live in "Flats", which is basically a small group of houses all paying rent to the same person. like an apartment building only flat. In this case, all the flats share one big thing made of bricks which contains mail boxes for each flat.)

Apparently, he was angry at her for two reasons; one minor, the other imagined. The minor one was that she went to a party to which SHE was invited and HE wasn't, because he's an asshole. The imagined reason was that she was supposedly cheating on him. (If there was another guy, why the hell would she hang around this asshole?)

I think it's safe to say that she leered a valuable lesson the hard way; if your boyfriends own family warn you to stay away from him, not because they don't lake you but because he's an asshole, they probably know what they're talking about. She's the nicest person in the world, but seems to make poor choices in men (case in point)

But all that is not the worst of it; at the time, my nephew was three years old, and the girl in question is his mother.

Since then, Mum and my nephew's Mum want absolutely nothing to do with "What's his name" as I like to call him now, both families hat him (Us and my nephew's mother's family) and what's-his-name has been disowned.

As for me, I've been telling Mum that we should've kicked him out ages ago, and no one argues with me anymore.

I'm just glad my nephews Mum's a Baptist; Baptist ministers can marry, and are therefore less likely to be pedophiles.

Then, of course, there's September 11th, which conformed some of my theories, liken that religion is evil, or at least has been corrupted by humans.

City: Melbourne

State: Victoria

Country: Australia

Became a Christian: About 0 or 1

Ceased being a Christian: About 14

Labels before: Roman Catholic

Labels now: Atheist, or Darwinian

Why I joined: Children will believe anything you tell 'em

Why I left: I became an Agnostic because of the difference between Christianity and Science, and an Atheist because of the similarities between Christianity and every other religion on the planet

God Hates the Sin -Christians Hate the Sinner

sent in by Meagan

I have been writing for a few years now, and a great deal of my writing revolved around how my views of Christianity changed. I have seen my close friends change, and many others who I have known remain the same. My close friends have turned away from the Christians, as I have done as well, sometimes unwillingly.

My unanswered questions were the same that everyone else had. For the longest time I had the feeling that God was being sincere to me, and he put me in situations where I was to keep the group of Christians that I had known together and close in the body of Christ. Many agreed with me and followed in my footsteps. We gathered out in the parking lot of a restaurant after the praise and worship service. Three times we had done this, and every experience brought us closer to seeing a glimpse of heaven. The third time was a true experience that I still cannot explain. It was November, fairly cold and late in the evening, right downtown in the heart of the city. We had our prayer circle happening with about twelve of us gathered together. We were praying in great depth and concentration.

One of the girls looked up and she said, 'oh my God you guys look up.' I was not expecting to see anything at all but to my surprise I saw something quite amazing. The Northern Lights were bright above dripping down and swirling in vivid colors of blue and green. Now, everybody knows that you don't usually see the Northern lights early in the winter and you definitely don't see them right downtown and directly above. The reason: the lights of the city are too bright. You can't even see the stars. "Wow! Praise the Lord!" They screamed out, reaching up for the dripping colors and all that crap.

After that experience, I wanted to keep the prayer circle happening, but human nature set in, and the group was divided by their own issues. "Oh, I don't talk to that guy anymore, he downloads porn on his computer. I saw a picture of a girl with a flippy haircut, and a black scoop neck. She looked premiscious." I was devoted at that time to improving the Body of Christ. After all, Christians must be victorious over the devil, right?

It was the beginning of a long realization that it didn't work. I thought Christians were supposed to be devoted to keeping together in fellowship, and in spirit. "Isn't the Lord the reason we're here? We should be uplifting each other." I encouraged them. No one cared.

Now my long time friend of eight years was a well respected Christian. He was married to an "ex-witch" (Oh, I love that line.) He invited me to live with him in his basement suite, which he rents out to university students. A barren room with a concrete floor. The carpet had gone moldy and it had to be removed. Every Tuesday my good roomate had the members of his band come over and they had something called kinship. An actual pastor came by to lead the group in worship. "If you were a part of the body of Christ, which part are you?" They would ask.

As usual, the pastor had some wonky ideas about schizophrenics, thinking that they had some unique gift of being able to connect with the spiritual. "My children have seen the demonic!" Some of the older Christians would say.

"There is a demon over every city in the world that watches. One of my friends prayed over this demon that he saw and he lost his family and everything dear to him!"

Eli's bandmates claimed they could see demons sitting up in the corners of the church. They caused his bandmates to fight amongst themselves.

Theodore's wife was plagued with "evil demons" and she was taken to weekly exorcisms. She was vomiting into a bucket in church. Some of the other possessed had the spirits of rock and roll. The demons of "joke." Of course none other than the bastard saint himself, Bob Larson had his hand in the matter. The Xtian that brought her to the exorcism was seeing her behind her husband's back. "Come out spirit!" He screamed as he fornicated with her on the exorcism couch.

Being the good Christians that we were, we told her husband so that he may know about what is happening behind his own back. Rightly so. She was caught red handed, and he wanted a divorce. "God hates divorce." He had already known, and could not release himself from his own marriage. The only ball and chain around his leg was the one he put there, called "Religion."

She must have been a witch of one kind or another, because her violent hatred brought me through hell for the next couple of months.

A learning experience about Christianity. How far does one explore before they come to this realization. I've been searching everywhere for the past ten years and have scraped up nothing but filth, deceit and hatred. "God hates the sin, and Christians hate the sinner."

The strong ties that Christianity has bound between close friends that have been together for eight years had been broken. The desire to keep the Body of Christ tightly secured has failed, there was nothing that could be done, no matter how hard I try.

My level of respect for Christians and number of Christian friends went from forty to three. Friendships of six months had been abruptly cut short by her friends because they saw that I was not a real Christian. In a rage, I told her friend in front of her good Christian friends, "Don't come and tell me that I'm not a genuine Christian, it is you after all that is getting fucked before you're married."

her face went pale white - she lapsed back into shock and ran from the others that initially brought up their courage to confront the unholy. She was in tears that someone had unleashed the truth in such a bold way.

Now, my real friends, who had long left the church advised me never to get into this bullshit again. "It's garbage, its all about business." In a year, my entire understandings of what Christianity were had been changed to allow me to see something I did not want to see. Everything related to Christianity was negative. Oh, and heaven forbid, my boss at a restaurant was gay. He was a great guy, I liked him a lot, and to be honest, he was one of the best supervisors I had ever had. There was a table that came in to celebrate something. They treated Leo pretty poorly because he was gay. I read one of the cards left behind, and what do you know: the reason why they treated Leo poorly is because they were taught that homosexuality was an abomination, and they'd have nothing to do with him.

Finally, my thoughts towards Xtianity were confirmed. The only guy remaining from the Christian group was a guy that I smoked a few joints with. He smoked now because it gave him relief from the stress he was going through.

A few years later my long time friend who left behind a hard life, lots of drinking, selling drugs became devoted to the Lord and he was able to leave behind many things that kept him back. "If I believe any one thing in my life is keeping me from following Christ, I just get rid of it!" He was always so determined. His life changed for the better, and I was very proud of him.

Again, I am shown great things that the Lord has done to special people in my life, and I watch as it is destroyed. People have moments of strength and weakness. I come to accept that, but during this time of weakness where my friend is smoking marijuana again (heaven forbid) his pastor decided that God asked him to move to Ontario Canada.

For a long time now, my friend and his wife, along with everyone else in the congregation had invested their trust and lives to this man, and he - through Jesus Christ was going to make them into better people. Through the Holy Spirit, there can be no flaw. My friend submitted to the pastor, and allowed him to take control, since he was a pastor that was annointed by the holy spirit.

Then, the pastor abandoned them. Everyone in the congregation was left with nowhere to turn. They felt betrayed, and I was not surprised.

Those who follow an incomplete and flawed religion will be hurt like this, I have come to know it as a fact now. Christianity never worked from the beginning.

Right from the time when Peter, the head honcho of the disciples of Jesus Christ was too racist to eat with anyone who wasn't a Jew.

The only reason why hell is a bad place is because it's filled with Christians.

City: ChTown

State: PE

Country: CAN

Became a Christian: 15

Ceased being a Christian: 26

Labels before: all

Labels now: More Wise

Why I joined: Seemed a wise decision

Why I left: An Open Mind Saw the Faults

Email Address: jmatthews48@hotmail.com

Why not me?

sent in by John E. Denison

I have spent a life time looking for the answer to mankinds most profound questions. I first had experience with church as a child. I would go by myself to evening protestant services at the Army Post Chapel in Bamberg Germany.

A very bizarre thing happened one night when a man I never saw before wouldn't let me and my friend in because we weren't with our parents. That ended 3 years of my faithfull attendance.

We moved to Ft. Ord Ca.(Monterey Bay area) when I was 13 that is where I grew up. I had already begun my search for answers to mankinds burning questions of why are we here, how did we get here, and how are we supposed to conduct ourselves etc? During my adolesence I pretty much professed atheism. This was the 60's. I drifted towards left wing beliefs I joined several well known radical groups thinking they had the answers, I was wrong.

I joined several different eastern religious groups and some new age groups couldn't find it there.

In 1984 I was 36 years old and pretty miserable, I couldn't face the day without being high and had no idea how to be a decent husband and parent. Then I got arrested and sentenced to 6 years probation. During that time I was so despondent about how my life had turned out I began to call out to God even though I wasn't sure anybody was listening. In my despair I think either the placebo effect kicked in or somebody heard me.

I began to make some dramatic changes in my behavior. Several months later I asked my wife if she wanted to go to church, she was suprised but agreed.

Only later did we discover that the church we first went too treated most new comers the way they treated us. Our family was in turmoil we were looking for that church that accepted people as they were, this one didn't like newcomers.

I did develop a relationship of sorts with the Pastor but soon realized that he had a "big fish in a little pond complex". I would ask him questions like didn't Jesus want us to minister to the lost especially the poor and down trodden. He would agree but told me the people in the church weren't ready for that.

Finally there was a church split, I had been encouraging him to start a church where every body was welcome and we didn't forget the poor. He would call me his prophet during this time it was traumatic for every one concerned.

Finally he decided he was going to hook up with the Vineyard Christian Fellowship Churches. Not my idea but I went along, he told every body how God had spoken to him directly. That was strange to me because I had spent alot of time advising and listening to him.

The church he started was very upper middle class and oriented to manifestations of the holy spirit, tongues and prophesy especially. I steadily made people angry because I would say things like if you have the holy spirit why aren't you concerned with the things Jesus was concerned with? Or the gifts of the spirit are supposed to lead to the fruits of the spirit what happened?

A church popped up near me called Victory Outreach. The mission of this church was to reach the poor and down trodden and dope addicts and gangsters because Jesus will set you free. First I was a liason from the Vineyard but then one of the leaders of Victory on the state wide level asked did I really expect the Vineyard to really get behind me and what God was calling me to do. I left the Vineyard and went to Victory.

Not good Victory turned out to be very close to a cult. The cause came before your family or anything else, the nice friendly Pastor Roy in Dallas turned into a fire breathing monster. I worked 40 or 50 hours at my job and another 30 or 40 in the ministry, my wife had to learn how to be a christian wife, so she cleaned the pastors house and was in classes everyday. My children were left alone.

The only reason I stayed there for 3 years was because I really did feel good about ministering to some of the people who came looking for a change in their life.
Finally I resigned, my wife was miserable my children were a mess. I immediately was treated like a guy leaving a gang, they even made subtle physical threats.
Then we decided to go to the Assemblys of God.

Every body told us they loved us, but nobody would visit us because we lived in a low income neighborhood.

I got involved in the churches out reach to the poor.

In 1995 I had quadruple-by-pass. The Doctor told me to find something else to do besides running my little masonry business. So I talked to the Pastor and went to Bible School and Community College for substance abuse counseling certificate.
The church had two houses where homeless people lived and I got the job of riding heard on these gentlemen. I had to work 70 hours a week minimum and was told I would be payed according to what I generated from working with these fellows in jobs that generated an income. I was back to being a working foreman with even more frustrations.

I would tell my guys that Jesus could change them and they could become whatever they wanted but the other leaders in the church kept telling them to stay in their place.

The guys that had a desire to change lost the initiative.
All this time they were looking for a pastor to head up this ministry, the senior pastor said he didn't see me manifesting the gifts of the spirit like speaking real loud in tongues etc.

So I couldn't be more than a glorified babysitter with the title of Discipleship Director. The straw that broke the camels baxk was two fold. One was that I got busy and made the ministry profitable I worked hard used my contacts and encouraged the guys with incentives like store bought food instead of donations. The board decided they better cap my income at $350.00 a week. I was married had six kids at home working 70 plus hours a week no benefits and could only make 350 a week. I really felt loved.

They finally brought in a guy to be pastor of this ministry but he was fixated on helping the senior pastor run the church and talked bad about him all the time.
This guy also contradicted evrything I said or did with the guys in the program. So I realized it was time for me to go.

We tried other churches but the whole family just couldn't handle it.
Looking back on it I think some times what did that guy mean I didn't have the manifestation of the holy spirit?

I truly cared and tried to help the homeless and addicted men I came into contact with, I didn't pray loud in tongues but I did try to show compassion, isn't that what Jesus did?

URL: www.focusonyourlife.net

City: Dallas

State: Texas

Country: USA

Became a Christian: 9 and 36

Ceased being a Christian: 50

Labels before: Assembly's of God, Vineyard Christian Fellowship,Charismatic

Labels now: none

Why I joined: profound spiritual experience

Why I left: contradictions

Email Address: webmaster@focusonyourlife.net

No Longer Religous

sent in by Iris

I’m now 34 years old, I was raised in the Christian Faith. I was in the Church of God in Christ all my life and was taught the doctrine of that domination (cult). At 21, I received the baptism of the Holy Sprit, which was one of the happiest days of my life because for the first time I really felt the presence of God or some higher power in my life. At the church I attended, I sang on the choir, was the secretary of the Women's Department and I participated in the activities that went on there. Everything in my life surrounded by the church I lived and breathed it and I looked down on others the didn’t share my beliefs. I made lots of friends... good friends at that church. I know they are good friends because I always choose my friends carefully. Although I no longer attend church, we are still friends.

My life as a Christian was almost the same as everyone else here before they left Christianity; very restrictive, most confusing and almost oppressive. Almost everything from going to the cinema to wearing nail polish, even clear nail polish was a sin.

Three years ago, out of the blue, I just lost the desire to attend church, any church for that matter. I wasn't angry at anyone, no one had hurt me, I loved the church I went to. My love for God never changed, however, my opinion of the bible has. At first I felt ashamed and scared because of what my family and church friends would think of me so I lied and told them I was attending another church. After a year, I didn’t care who knew.

Some Sundays, I go to my mother's church and I have a great time but I still couldn't understand why I couldn’t get myself to go back to church regularly. I prayed for God to give me understanding about my Dilemma. One day, while surfing the internet, I began to accidentally come into sites that emphasized the importance of having a spiritual relationship with God vs. being religious.

I began studying other religions and their beliefs outside of the Christian religion and found that however, flawed like Christianity, their beliefs surround the principles of God's commandments, however, they don’t emphasize Christ and the Trinity. Some religious books, such as the Koran are in harmony with the bible. The Koran acknowledges Jesus Christ as being the son of God, sent by God to save humanity but they believe that God the Father should be worshiped more than God the Son since He is the one who sent Christ in the first place. I found that we Christians tend to worship God the Son more than God the Father, in church, in our songs and etc.

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this book called "The Dark Side of Christian History" by Helen Ellerbe... have any of you ever read it? If not, I think you should read it sometime. This book was written in a concise fashion and details the horrors, both spiritually and physically, that the early Church visited upon members of society. I found Helen Ellerbe's research to be thorough, with a bibliography citing many historical documents and publications. I believe that the book is not something that Ellerbe just wrote. She did some serious research on the dark history of Christianity when it became a organized religion. Although some things have changed in the Christian church today, some aspects of our doctrines still reflect the dark doctrines of the early church.

In conclusion, folks, God wanted to show me that there is more to him than what I was learning in church. but in order for me to see that, I had to lose the programming that I received from being in the church all my life. I began to research into things that I was forbidden to go into by the church because it was considered a sin. What I learned from my research, is that any person, who is lives a morally clean life, who loves humanity as well as himself has eternal life regardless of whether they worship Christ or not!
I no longer live a religious life but I live a spiritual life in which I now look within myself for answers, not the church.

State: Tennessee

How old were you when you became a christian? --- 10 yrs. old

How old were you when you ceased being a christian? --- 34 yrs. old

What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? --- Chrismatic/Pentecostal

What labels, if any would you apply to yourself now? --- Spiritual

Why did you become a christian? --- I was taught that it was the right thing to do

Why did you deconvert? --- It was the right thing to do

Email Address: irisaboyd at hotmail.com

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