searching for something

sent in by Audie (aka Bluesman)

Let me start by thanking you all for letting me join your site and giving good response to my posts. Your site was instrumental in my final de-converting. But let me start from the beginning.

My Christian life began much the same as most people's who are Christians. I was Raised in a Southern Baptist church, "saved" when I was 9, sent to VBS, Youth group, summer camp, etc. It was the fear of hell-fire that drove me to the alter to get saved that night. As I grew into my teens, I backslid some, tried drugs, discovered sex, and found Rock and Roll. But at 17, I rededicated my life, and shortly after that, I "felt" called into the ministry. So after high school I attended a very Conservative Baptist college to study Christian Ministry.

Right away I was swept away. The school was super Fundy. They were against everything fun. I once got preached at for kissing a girl I was dating!?!?!?! And of course the Christian Rock that I was listening to, playing and even writing songs was not of God!!! God cannot be glorified by rock music. What a blow!! Of course Country was alright.

By my sophomore year, I became "spirit filled" and started attending an Assembly of God, then eventually a full-blown Charismatic church (that I look back on as almost a cult). Well, my baptist friends at school did not like this one bit, but still I persisted, seeking God's will for me, while struggling with the desires of the flesh. I finally gave into them and became sexually active again. I cried out to god for help. I prayed and fasted, sought counseling, and did all I knew to do, but the flesh is weak. Eventually I couldn't take any more, and backslid yet again. By my Junior year I was living off campus and my trailer was party central!!! Well, between drunkenness and debauchery, I totally failed out of my Senior year.

I had no idea what I was going to do, but the Army recruiter told me they would pay me to jump out of airplanes, well shit!!! sign me up. I continued to seek God and attended churches where I was stationed. I got married to a really fine Baptist girl (who after 13 years is still my wife). I could spend all night talking about all the things that have driven me from my faith. Lack of answered prayer, hypocrisy, and the unbelievability of certain bible teachings. For the past 5 years or so, I've been having some serious doubts. Then in July of this year, I was doing a google search for downloadable "Farting preacher" videos when I found this site. I looked around it and was horrified and intrigued at the same time. The one thing that really got my attention was the story called "An Atheist of Judgment Day." link That story was the straw that broke to camels back. It made me ask a lot of questions about what and why do I believe.

It is not easy to walk away from what I've believed my whole life. And to tell the truth, I want to believe!! I want there to be a God, and a heaven when I die. I just cannot bring myself to believe it anymore. I still have some problems with evolution, but that's for another day. I have become a free thinker, and will no longer be told what to believe.

I hope I haven't rattled on too much and bored you all to tears. I look froward to getting to know you folks. If you haven't figured it out, I'm still in the Army (going on 16 years now--4 till retirement!!!) and am currently deployed to Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division. Take care and I'll talk to you all later. ~Audie (aka Bluesman)

Joined: 9
Left: 34-40??
Was: Southern Baptist, then pentecostal, then Charismatic
Now: U.S. Soldier is what I am and what I do
Converted: fear of Hell
De-converted: how long have we got?
email: armyairborne509 at yahoo dot com


sent in by Jason

I was born and raised in an ultra-conservative Church of Christ. For years I was brainwashed with their doctrines. The particular congregation my parents attended and subsequently raised me in believed that they were the only ones who were "doctrinally pure," to the exclusion of all other denominations and also many of their fellow "churches of Christ." They claimed they were not a denomination because their only creed was the Bible, but they have an international network of similar churches who all claim not to be a denomination either. I was so endoctrinated in their exclusivism and spiritual pride that I thought I was genuinely caring about other people when I'd spend days, weeks, and months debating the most trivial issues with them, like whether or not instrumental music should be used in worship. Looking back on it now (and for the past seven years), I'm ashamed of the kind of person I was. I was so blind I couldn't see anything but the "Church of Christ" interpretation of everything, and it made me a lousy human being. No wonder I was so unhappy and dysfunctional. It got to the point where I wanted to kill myself in junior high because I couldn't live up to the church's expectations of me. The church couldn't live up to its expectations of itself, and many of the people in that church were doing worse things than I ever thought about doing. Some of them even intentionally hurt other people. I admit that I've hurt people unintentionally before out of spiritual pride, but the people in the church acted like vampires, living only to suck the life out of everyone else. There's a German word, schadenfreude, which basically means taking pleasure from other people's pain, and that's what some of them did (and still do), like one time when a certain guy purposefully said terrible things about one of my friends. He even tried to get her excommunicated ("disfellowshipped" is what they call it) from the church. And I could go on and on with the terrible things I've seen those people do to each other and to me and my family. That church has destroyed my mother's self-esteem because the church makes her feel like she's not as good as everybody else, and I'll never forgive the church for ruining my mother like that. She used to be confident about herself, but years of going to that church and hearing those thousands of sermons on how terribly sinful we all are (we're apparently "worms," not even worthy that God should consider us at all), and having to face certain catty women every week who had to subtly put others down to make themselves feel better, ruined her. Dad is so convinced his church is right that he tells me, "One day you'll hopefully have enough wisdom to know the truth." Anyway, you get the idea. It's more of a cult than a church.

The best thing that ever happened to me was in junior high, when I was so alone and scared and thinking of suicide, I fell into what society calls "the wrong crowd." These were kids who listened to Metallica, smoked weed, got drunk, and had sex even at the ages of 14 and 15. They were the only kids at school who would have anything to do with me. Most of them were atheists or agnostics, but I wasn't about to debate with them about it because they were the only friends I had. I didn't want to lose them. At first I didn't want anybody knowing I hung out with that crowd, but as time went by, I realized that they were better people than a lot of people at church, even without Jesus. I started to accept their lifestyles and finally began to admit to myself what I'd known for years, that I was bisexual. The "stoners" as they were called became like a second family to me. Some of them fell into heavy drug use, and others got STD's, but I never took it that far. I always kept a wall between myself and everybody else, or more specifically, what everybody else was doing. The important thing was that I began to learn, to question, to wake up from years of the unconsciousness I'd been knocked into by that abusive, manipulative, self-serving, and self-righteous Church of Christ.

Around the time I graduated high school, I'd had enough of that church. So I started asking my job to schedule me for Sunday and Wednesday. On days when I wasn't working, I'd fake being sick, or I'd go out of town -- anything to keep from going to that intolerant, hypocritical place. Finally, I got a letter in the mail saying the church had withdrawn its fellowship from me. I felt liberated, more free than I'd ever been before in my life. I thought, "how can the church withdraw something that was never there in the first place?" I thought it was funny the way they think they have all this power to "mark" people and pass judgment. At that point, however, I still believed in a "personal Jesus," and the message of Spirit-filled churches was appealing to me.

So I searched all over the place for a "good" church. I went everywhere, reading all the books on religion I could find in the bookstores, looking up stuff online, going to various churches around town. Finally, I found a church that seemed like it was good. It was non-denominational and charismatic (Spirit-filled), and although at first I was hesitant to join, I caved in when I began to hang out with the people in real life and found that they were actually real people, unlike the "fake" people of my parents' church who put on their masks and never let on that anything was terribly, terribly wrong just under the surface, where terrible things hide. The people at this new church were real, they had problems just like everybody else, and they all tried to help each other get though life day by day. Best of all, they weren't hypocritical at all, trying to be spiritually proud, or making outlandish claims about themselves like the Church of Christ did. (The Church of Christ claims it is the church that was founded on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, even though the "Church of Christ" didn't even exist in America until after Alexander Campbell began the "Restoration Movement" in the early 1800's.)

Long story short, I began to question even the charismatic church I had found. Their nearly blind trust of anything the President said or did was frightening to me. It was almost as if he was being deified. I went to Oklahoma City to attend a private Bible college which was being run under the supervision and auspices of a fairly well-known charismatic church, but I found it to be a Christian brainwashing and indoctrination camp. The dean hated me, and I was having some medical problems at the time that had me laying in bed most of the time. So the dean kicked me out of the school (he made sure he did it on the day after the last day for partial refunds), and I came home to Texas. I stayed with the charismatic church I'd found for a few more years, going through phases of religious fervor and then periods of dullness that kept getting longer and longer.

When I went back to a real university (I'd started fresh out of high school but quickly learned I wasn't ready) I started taking classes that made me question even more of what I'd thought was true. Sumerian texts presented me with a version of the Genesis story thousands of years older than the one appearing in the Bible. I'd started questioning the omnipotence of God several years before, when I saw the world descending into chaos after 9/11. The thing that made me question the existence of God the most, however, was that after I'd left the "Church of Christ," my family would tell me things like, "You've given your soul to the Devil," and "You must not love the Lord, or else you wouldn't have turned your back on Him." Didn't they get it? I wasn't turning my back on God; I was turning my back on the church, but the way they (His people) were acting, I might as well have turned my back on God.

I decided that if being a Christian meant that I had to hurt people by saying or doing or thinking hurtful things about them, then I wasn't going to be a Christian any longer. I decided that if serving God meant that I have to accept what "religious" people say about him, then I won't serve him. And after reading The Quran, I decided that if God (whoever he (OR SHE) is -- YHWH, Allah, Krishna, whatever)... if God is omnipotent and omniscient, saving who He wills and punishing who He wills, but pretending to give us a choice, then I wouldn't serve him anymore.

That was the point I quit caring about the whole thing and went back to my parents' church. Isn't that a strange thing to do? I thought so, too, but there's a reason. I wanted to make my family happy. I don't care one bit about what the rest of the church thinks. The guy who said all those terrible things about my friend hasn't even had the decency to say "hello" to me in the five months I've been back. Here's another funny thing: Half the church left in the seven years I was away. They went through a split over some tiny little insignificant doctrinal issue that's ripped families and life-long friends apart to the point they won't even speak to each other. I don't care one bit what that church (or any church) thinks anymore, and if they see this and want to withdraw their fellowship from me, that's their business.

After I get out of college and move to another city and state, I'll probably quit going to church altogether because for one thing, the concept of God doesn't make sense and I'm starting to believe monotheism was a social construct created to control people. For another, I've seen the way His people act and the way other people act, and according to God's people's own standards, the atheists are more likely to be saved and get to Heaven (if Heaven even exists). So that's pretty much my story up to this point. Great site. It's really helping me deal with clearing away the rubble left by the fall of my religion, and it's the best feeling in the world not to be shackled down to someone's fallacious interpretation of fallacious stories and traditions like I was when I was still thoroughly under the spell of the "Church of Christ."

One little bit of advice for your readers: If you're considering moving to Texas and want to have a happy life, do not move to a religious town, especially not one ruled by the Church of Christ. (Your only options are pretty much the big metro areas like DFW, Houston, and San Antonio.) You can find a few nice little towns that have had the common sense to run the Church of Christ out of there, but they're few and far between.

How old were you when you became a christian? 13
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 18
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Church of Christ, "non-denominational"
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? agnostic
Why did you become a christian? I didn't want to go to Hell.
Why did you de-convert? 1. The concept of God doesn't make sense. 2. His people are some of the worst that have ever lived.
msujason08 at hotmail dot com

Simple as it Should Be

sent in by Jason

I just want to say that this is a great site!

I lost my faith in religion about a year ago. I was introduced to christianity at the age of 20 and became very passionate around the age of 22. I gave it all up at the age of 25 after dealing with a lot of questions / doubt. My deconversion was not easy, the healing process takes time. There is no substitute for time.

I am now 26 and back to MY LIFE. It's mine ALL mine. I love it. I am free to think as I please without any guilt. Life may be hard at times, but when it gets hard I just think about how crummy I felt at bible college with all of the questions and doubt.

I can honestly say there is nothing worse in this life than doubting who you are and what you believe in. For all those who are smart enough to leave, take the time to heal and get to know yourself. You can worry about deep philosophical issues later. Love yourself and strive to love others.


Joined: 20
Left: 25
Was: Southern Baptist
Now: Deist
Converted: For Meaning
De-converted: No Evidence!
email: jpepin2001 at yahoo dot com

Facing what has always bothered me

sent in by Cris

Where do I start.... this is so recent.

I have been in some kind of church since I was born. I was "saved" at least a couple of times when I was a kid (just to be sure as I didn't feel any different)

I have always believed in God and Jesus, I had no other way I could think. Sunday has always meant get dressed up and go to church, go to Sunday school then go to the main service and sing hymns, listen to the message and then after church maybe go out to eat (always a treat for us kids!) I heard the messages and tried my best to be a good Christian.

When I was a teen the center of my life was the Assembly of God church where I went, all of my friends were there, there was always exciting music (the main reason I am a musician today) and interesting programs such as the AoG answer to the Boy scouts, "Royal Rangers".

On Sundays and Wednesday nights I had my spiritual/emotional "high" for the week and felt the peace and joy inside that I needed and felt convinced that God was real because of the amazing things I saw happen such as people speaking in tongues, people passing out from the "Spirit" and other things that seemed to indicate that there was something abnormal, supernatural happening.

On these events and general feeling peace at these services (and not to forget a very real fear of burning forever in hell), I based my total belief in the reality of Christianity. During this time I listened almost exclusively to Contemporary Christian music and went to Christian gatherings with the youth group whenever possible.

It was the rest of the week that I suffered.

The questions would come to my head then: "Why did God do that to Job??? Why did God always order all those massacres of innocent people???" And the big ones: if God is all knowing then how can we possibly have free will???????? If God is all knowing, then why would he create Billions of people that he knew would go to hell? What happens to all the people in the dark jungles of Africa, the sands of far away deserts that have never heard of Jesus? Dozens of other things.

I always I prayed constantly throughout the day at school for God to give me peace and to help me not to have immoral thoughts, to give me understanding,etc.

I KNEW that if I persisted in entertaining any doubts that I could possibly be in a car accident or something at the wrong time and I would go to hell by default.

As I got older I eventually found myself "backsliding" , meaning that I stopped going to church when I moved to a new area and I ended up playing in a few rock bands. I still believed in everything I was taught but the "worldly way" was so attractive and the endless worry over not being quite good enough for God was so much less overwhelming.

This period of time has lasted pretty much the last 15-17 years. In the last 5 years I started going to a church again, a small presbyterian church. This church did not seem as "threatening" or should I say "Spirit filled" as the fundie churches of my past. I still considered myself as "backslid" or "away from God" but at least I wasn't been told this repeatedly to keep my mind from wandering.

I started getting bolder. I started entertaining the doubts I had as a teen, really thinking about them and praying more for God to help me to understand. If "possession by the holy spirit" as I saw it so many times in my youth, was real, why did it only happen at certain churches? Why did it never happen in the Presbyterian church,the Catholic church of my friends, the Baptist church? Did God pick a certain few denominations for this?

I kept praying and praying and asking God to show me somehow that he really was listening. I didn't expect a miracle or anything, just a response. Anything.

I finally told God a few years ago, "I guess I can't believe in you anymore, you NEVER have answered me"

I waited for lightning to strike, but nothing happened. So what outcome did I come up for to this? I figured God wasn't listening and continued to believe in him, I mean REALLY believing that God did not exist was still an impossibility for me, I just wanted to get his attention.

So, to make a long story even longer, In the last month I just happened to have a lot of things come together at the same time. I discovered an Atheist's website on the Internet completely by chance and decided to go look and see how this guy could possibly not see that God obviously exists. I mean God has always been there for me, just silently and in his "God works in mysterious ways" kind of way.

I was especially impressed by the fact that this guy used to be a preacher (Dan Barker). As I read through the site the most amazing thing kept happening, I kept seeing the questions I had always asked myself written in black in white with answers that made sense to my mind, and in my heart.

but, still, all those amazing things I saw in the "Spirit filled churches? Those people were not faking! I FELT personally the "Spirit" moving through the church! This was the final proof that God existed, no matter how much I was conflicted by the inconsistencies in the Bible and teaching I had heard all my life.

Then I started reading more and more and realized that except for the theology, people were having the EXACT same "spirit filled experience" in Voodoo ceremonies, in native American dances around fires, in Shamanic ceremonies around the world, by Buddhist monks etcetera. What was the explanation?

Trance states and forms of hypnotism.

I realized what I took to be "The Spirit" was actually the combination of trance/self hypnosis/meditation brought on by the rhythmic music, fiery preaching, repetitive hymn singing, "meditating" on God,etc.

Speaking in tongues? Glossolalia, It's known all over the world (Christian or not).

Trance states or other altered states are quite easy to induce by many different methods, and once entranced its not hard to have a "vision" otherwise known as a "hallucination".

In this last month I pretty much have stopped believing anything. Not just Christianity but ANYTHING at all that I have been told and have not seen or can see plenty of things proving it's non-existence. I have had more peace of mind and heart in the last few weeks than I have ever had in my life. I feel like I did when I was "saved", but it doesn't stop! I have found even a little sloppily done meditation gives me more deep lasting peace and relaxation than years of praying into the silence has ever given me.

At this point I am not really sure what to do. I still go to church but now I am going for the social aspect and to actually listen to the messages and look at them from my new viewpoint. I don't see how I can just say to my friends there "oops, I suddenly had an epiphany and realized that I am not a Christian anymore and doubt God even exists" or tell the preacher and choir members I can't play bass for them anymore. I couldn't possibly tell my parents or...well.. really anyone in my entire family as that would be LIVING HELL! (They are almost all serious church goers)

I do not think I am any different as a person, if anything I feel more compassion for my fellow man, I still don't cuss in public, unlike I was led to believe in church, I found my morals are built-in, I haven't turned in to a heroin junkie porn cannibal!

If anything, I think if the actions of God as told in the bible were judged according to the ten commandments, well... the whole thing would ... the whole thing HAS canceled out for me.

Joined at 10
Left at 35
Was: Assembly of God, Baptist, Evangelical, fundamentalist
Now: Undercover agnostic
Converted because that is what everyone I knew believed
De-converted because I finally listened to my conscience

Lost Youth

sent in by Mary Williams

My testimony is similar to others I have read on this wonderful web site. I grew up in a professed atheist family. There was no hypocrisy, my father, mother and brother simply stated they didn't believe in God and acted accordingly. I too, never questioned this, being good at science in school and could believe that the Bible was simply some "stories".

At age 14 , my older brother died. This created some big problems in my family as he was very loved by my parents being the only boy. My dad took to drinking more and having fits of rage. My mom was so grief-stricken that she simply dropped out of life. I was left with so much guilt at being alive and at one point heard my parents say they "wished it had been me in the casket."

Needless to say, I was open to seek for some answers. I was very mad at any kind of God who could allow things like this. At this point a "born again" Baptist in my school became interested in being my friend. I was amused by her religion but did enjoy her sense of humor.

Obviously her goal was that of converting me. I remember so clearly one night she had me spend the whole night at her house and she preached to me. I thought she was a little nuts, but the next morning watching the interaction of her and her large family made me think maybe they had something.

I also had no problem with the concept of being a "sinner" as I was really angry and hurt with my parents and knew I had bad feelings toward them that wasn't right.

To make a long story short, I prayed the sinners prayer one night in my home, thinking that I wanted to be more like my friend. And that this maybe was the answer.

However, as I announced my new found belief system to my parents, my mother wept and said no one in the family had every done this before. My father was angry and probably got drunk. This was the start of many years of intense disharmony and a worsened relationship with my family, which I just didn't know how to prevent and keep my faith.

I was only allowed to attend a Lutheran church in the neighborhood because my parents had some friends who went there. I have to chuckle now thinking about when the pastor made a "house-call" to talk to my parents about their lack of faith . After this experience I remember him looking at me very solemnly in the church, and saying "You will need much prayer".

After being so happy to get away to college, I eventually joined a radical shepherding movement that was popular at that time called Great Commission. This group was very close knit and did a lot of evangelism. We also didn't date so as to allow god to lead us to our mate. I thought the idea was great at the time and for a long time after, however now I think it landed me with nothing but spinsterhood.

They promised to be the "family" that I'd never had - as do all the churches. They tell us that our real family is our brothers and sisters in the Lord. But honestly in over 20 years I've never had anyone go out of their way much to be family to me. I think most people in the Christian religion don't feel the impact of this much, because despite all their rhetoric about "family in the Lord," they still very much cleave to their own families, and the church is no more family to you than the corner store. For me however, I honestly didn't have any family that was there for me, so I keenly felt the lack of this promised support system..

So they taught about reaching people for Christ, then after 5 years I told them I wanted to go to Bible School because I wanted to reach more people. They said don't bother, I could do it through the mail. I thought this was very interesting as it was all they talked about , the great commission. No one encouraged me. Later however, I would remember that my nursing salary was pretty good at that time and so was my tithe to the church. Maybe this was part of the reason.

When I got to Bible school, one of the teachers told me I had been in a group that had "cult-like" qualities. Geez, I can't win. It seemed to me that the Bible school had a lot of the same qualities though.

Honestly, I have lived overseas after my Bible school days, teaching English and trying to do share about God. Finally I got to the point, I didn't even know what to say. I felt like all these big promises of Christianity were so empty and I hadn't seen god answer any of my heartfelt prayers. I began to come to this site and entertain the idea that I have been the one mistaken.

At first it was major a problem with prayer. I just couldn't understand, having studied the book so well, how there could be so many promises on answered prayer and so few materialized. Then I realized that the reason for all the books on prayer in the bookstore is cause other people must wonder too. I tried to follow all the instructions for answered prayer and still no results. Then I would notice people who didn't follow any instructions and seemed to get answers. Nothing seems to make sense on that level. I mean if you pray, and any answer, yes, no, or wait, or silence, is the right answer because it comes from God, then why the heck bother?

This didn't make me happy, due to the countless hours I had poured my heart out in prayer.

Later, I also became bothered with some obvious contradictions in what is supposed to be the flawless Word of God.

Now I feel I have wasted my youth and will never have it back again. I have no family because I "waited" on him who hears the cries of our heart, and my whole worldview has collapsed. I'm not sure where I'll end up but I'm just so sad. I know I need to get over it. I wonder if anyone has been through or felt this way.



Joined at 17
Left at 45
Was: Born Again, Pentacostal
Now: Undecided
Converted because: Seeking for meaning
De-converted because: False meaning, lack of evidence
Email: nanguo41 at yahoo dot com

no more in the god gang

sent in by skype uk

well, here goes folk...I got religion when I was 16 yrs old.To say that I was a mixed up teenager would be an under statement and I was easy prey for street evangelists.To cut a long story short i got converted into pentecostalism.My elation at having been "saved" and found the truth was short lived.I made a dreadful mistake...i started to read the bible for myself.

what an eye opener. what i was been told (indoctrinated with) was at odds with the bible itself."God loves everyone and died for them" i was told and yet I read of god killing people relentlessly.Week after week and bible study after bible study i was told that the bible is infallable and yet i couldnt reconcile the contradictions within its pages.The more i read the more i questioned and the more I questioned the more annoyed the elders got with me until eventually they suspended me from the church for three months "for being negative".And still i went back,such was my desire to believe.

However my inquisitive nature would not be quelled and I continued to research.I read voraciously.I read everything that I could get my hands on regarding religion and christianity.My church started to ostracise me,they didnt like difficult questions,they preffered their nice little religious comfort blanket.I wanted answers.

I WANTED to believe but I also wanted to keep my brain intact.If the bible was true then surley my doubts could be answered.I next joined a more radical christian group and for a while lived in one of their communal houses.They had an "every thing in common" type of christianity.They were certainly more sincere than most other christians that I knew but also (looking back)more brainwashed.Absolutly nothing was questioned.If the elders had said hit yourselves on the head repeatedly with a large iron chisel they would have done it.

needless to say my doubts grew and I eventualy drifted away.

Now, at forty years of age, I look back upon those days as though they happened to somebody else.Gone is the constant fear of hellfire,gone are the doubts and the never ending task of trying to reconcile biblical contradictions,gone are the brothers and sisters who shunned me because i wanted answers to questions.nowadays i can see christianity, the bible and religion for what it is...a croc of crap

stoke on trent
joined at sixteen
driffted away in my twenties
was: pentecostal and a home grown jesus cult
now: agnostic skeptic freethinker
converted because: evangelised in the street (& fell for it)
de-converted because: read the bible & saw it for what it is
email: dundana dot 66 at virgin dot net

From Catholic girl to Daoist

sent in by Bria

I was born raised and baptized Roman Catholic by two wonderful parents.
My bio grandfather insisted I go to a catholic school. After a few years at a secular private school, I left because the principal was physically abusive.

I went to catholic school for a few years and did not do well academically. I wasn’t happy there and tried to do anything to get thrown out.
The principal was a fake, he put on a front to show he was nice but he was very arrogant.

When I was 8 years old a spirit said someone in this (my grandmother’s) house would be murdered. Five months later, my grandmother was murdered by her best friend as the spirit said. I’ve had other spiritual experiences but this one was the most profound.

At 16 I was walking through a bookstore with my Mom and I picked up a book called Zen Catholicism. At 17 my boss had a book called the Te of piglet. I read it for a few minutes while I was at work.

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

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

At 25 a few things really shook my beliefs. My best friend who wanted to be a priest (or so I thought) nearly became atheist. How could such a thing happen? Several months later I went to Odessa to meet my blood relatives. I had an aunt and a blood mom that fought over “who has the right version of Christianity” and “the false Christian was going to hell.”

This started to get to me a bit more.

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

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

I was angry that he would suggest such a stupid thing and I realized Christianity was an arrogant belief system, especially since it talks of love and acceptance and most people get fear guilt shame and the holier than thou attitude.

Joined: 0
Left: 26
Was: LMS, Anglican, Pentecostal, Catholic, southern Baptist, Messianic Jew, Nazarene church
Now: Daoist, Pagan New age spiritualist
email: kaguraofthewind at yahoo dot com

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