On the eve of my ex-Christianity

sent in by anonymous

Practically from day one, I have been brainwashed by Christian schooling. Oh, I don't doubt that they had nothing but the best intentions, but that is beside the point. I went to a Christian elementary school, where I thought I had become saved at a very early age. There was however no joy or feeling of the spirit, etc...a fact which later caused me accept countless more salvations. Saved, not saved, saved, not saved....Let's not even go into the Tulip Principle. After elementary school, I (and of my own decision,unfortunatly) went to another Christian school. The former was Lutheran, this was Mennonite based, but really was a collection of the individual beliefs of each teacher. Upon arrival I noticed the startling difference in their worship,(you know...sappy, emotional music, hands raised, prayers said under the breath. The kind of stuff that sucks you in...you know) and had strong feelings of guilt that I was unable to share their enthusiasm or mentality. I went through junior high and high school being a victim of the beliefs of my teachers and peers. I have always been dangerously impressionable and succeptible to the slightest coercion. I believed almost every word they said, in fact, every word every Christian has ever told me, even when those words conflicted (which is often). In fact, one day one of my bible teachers commented once that we were being brainwashed-day by day being told what to believe and how to think and if you don't you're going to hell. I didn't want to believe him then, but I completely do now.

I flip-flopped back and forth through periods of contentment (when I would completely forget about Christianity and its teachings, we'll call this the recession), through periods of zealousness and a false sense that I had a good relationship with god (basically when I didn't question the crap I was taught), and periods of intense confusion and emotional pain (periods when I would question its teachings and began to realize its startling amount of phliosophical, scientific, logical, and historical flaws). The climax was a couple months ago when after recession I decided to give being saved one last shot;there was always something I'd thought I'd screwed up. But by this time, I had already questioned too much and had a sour taste for the religion. I being more confused and chaotic than ever. I thought that because I had never been happy with the religion before was because I yet agained messed something up, and I needed a literal miracle. I had even begun to believe I might be "possesed". Coincidently, we were trying to sell a house and this real estate agent came along who happened to have this pamphlet that teaches you how to "get a miracle" by basically saying a series of prayers. I thought he must be sent from god because of the coincidence, so I determined to make it work this time. Oh, did you know that confusion and chaos (and pokemon) are sins? Neither did I. Another reason to feel guilty, but that's probably a sin too. --Here's the problem with this religion. It's called the power of suggestion, also known as the placebo affect. If you believe that a healing (or a pill filled with sugar) is working, you will feel it working-even physically. You must believe it's working for it to work. That's how the power of suggestion works. Oddly enough, Christians (and this real estate agent) will tell you that you have to "believe". Well, you know what? I can make my tenitus (ringing of the ears, which according to him was the result of some sin I had to cast off) go away by simply focusing on the sound, imagining that it is leaving. And it does! This same technique is used in eastern religions which they claim are "of the devil".

--Funny story: I work late night shift for a hotel. Nothing usually happens save for the occasional froot loop. Well,a couple weeks ago, a lady came in. At first she seemed just eccentric, overly zealous Christian, but it was later apparent to everyone else excluding me that she was CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs. Mind you, I was, and still am, on the eve of my ex-christianity, so I mostly believed her. She was a schizophrenic who made up imaginary stories in her mind and then played them out. The turning point, however, was when she reached over the counter and told me, "Touch my finger, I'm gonna ZAP you in the name of Jeeesus." WTF?! I, dumbfounded but compliant as usual, obeyed. At that moment I began to feel a "force", which I quickly gained control of. The story ends in my manager...and my mom (who as a nurse has worked with people like this)...and the police coming over and banishing her from the hotel chain.--

Anyway, I tried his methods, and they worked only until I stopped believing them. Duh. Feeling I had failed again, I tried again repetedly at home, at church which also worked momentarily, and even by one of those ridiculous tv healers (send me money, god will send you a miracle, blah, blah, blah...30 more dollars for your miracle...yak, yak...buy my magical healing soap...blubber, blubber, you're miracle is almost here!...) What I needed wasn't a miracle, it was a splash of cold water and someone slapping me in the face shouting, "Snap out of it!"

There are so many denominations, beliefs and interpretations, and they are each convinced that it's their way or the highway.

18 comments:

Jim Lee said...

If you don't know by now that Christianity is one of the greatest cons in the world, then you will never know. Wise up, and give it the flick for good. You will be amazed how good you will feel in time

greasemonkey said...

I won't take the "greatest cons" tack on this matter mostly because it sounds really negative, and you sound like someone who really needs to hear something positive. I can pretty much agree with the essence of what Jim said; when I initially gave x-ianity "the flick," I felt so empty that I figured there HAD to be something else out there. I flitted around one belief system to another, then the next, ad nauseum for a few years. After a while it started to occur to me that maybe that "feeling" I was looking for might not exist. The only problem with all of this was, x-ianity had it SO driled into my head that happiness came from external sources, it never really occurred to me that I had all I ever needed from the start. I hit the books really hard & started a pretty thorough study of history (using secular sources), and if you read the history from 100BC-400AD, you'll find an awful lot of stuff they never told you in church. When it finally sunk in that X-ianity was just another in a long stream of religions, I think that was the point when I finally grounded in myself. It was a tremendously liberating feeling to finally just be responsible for myself with no fears of an invisible boogeyman looking over my shoulder. I got a better job, got a life and basicly became an individual. I guess I'm classified as an agnostic humanist; I don't know if there is a god or not, and don't really care one way or the other. It doesn't change who I am at all. My life didn't change much at all, except perhaps for becoming self-reliant rather than looking for some santa-in-the-sky to change things. Most people still tend to think I am x-ian until I tell them otherwise, and I live a very happy life! Lack of god doesn't equal lack of happiness, sense of purpose, or "morality." In fact, it kind of enhances every day when you know longer have any lingering FEAR of afterlife.

Just from the "feel" of your post, I'd say you are still looking for something, and I would encourage you to try to find whatever floats your boat. What works for me doesn't work for all. I'd suggest you spend a little bit of time on www.jesuspuzzle.com and www.infidels.org. Take a good long look at some of the stuff that churches don't want you to see. My older brother dropped religion a few years back (he was well into his 30's) after two years of a bible college. He started comparing what he was being told in his classes to secular sources, and his eyes began to open. Once you start seeing the historical facts & inconsistencies in the bible, and can finally admit to yourself that the entire history of x-ianity has MAN's hands stamped all over it rather than any GOD's, I promise you will feel a pretty huge weight lifted off your shoulders. One of the big problems I see with x-ianity is that people seem to confuse "peace" with "relief" (that you aren't going to burn eternally), and it's all dangled over you by "fear," only they call it "god's love." It often creates a lot of confusion emotionally.

Best of luck whatever you decide! I'm sure you can find a lot of people on this site that can really relate well with any feelings that happen to run through your head. We've pretty much ALL been there before.

Psychobunny56 said...

I remember being there too about four years ago; much like you, I knew that I was young, naive, impressionable, and extremely susceptible to coercion, and I thought that I had better find something to believe in before I got sucked in by another cult (my youth group Bible study was the first one). Ironically, it was the research I did trying to find something I could believe in that eventually led me to my current state of atheism. If I can offer you any advice, it would be to read everything you can get your hands on, to not be afraid to question, and to keep seeking the answers you need. Good luck with it; if you keep looking you should eventually find answers that make sense to you, at which point all the ambivalence and impressionability will drop off you.

Ric said...

I have to say, choose the highway. Its so liberating. You don't need those mind games.

Dave8 said...

Hey anonymous, the highway of reason has plenty of room, no where near full. Good to hear from you, hope to see you around on the boards, take it easy.

Anonymous said...

So now you are going to buy into the atheist brainwashing that all existence. life, mind and reason itself can be explained by mindless processes?

The irrationality of the atheist claim is matched only by the virulence of it proponents whenever they have achieved political control.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous: "So now you are going to buy into the atheist brainwashing that all existence. life, mind and reason itself can be explained by mindless processes?"

Atheist brainwashing? Wow, that's a hoot. What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish with these ridiculous loaded questions? You obviously aren't here to have a rational discussion, so what *is* your purpose. My guess is you simply wish to disparage those who hold theological opinions different from your own. Am I close?

Anonymous: "The irrationality of the atheist claim is matched only by the virulence of it proponents whenever they have achieved political control."

You can sure can pack a lot of fallacies into one little sentence. I'm impressed. First, if you are the same "Anonymous" as the one I responded to above, you've not even demonstrated a basic understanding of what atheism typically entails, so you are doomed to construct nothing but straw man arguments. Moreover, your assertions of "irrationality" and "virulence" are completely hollow unless you have something to back them up. Have you anything?

(Are others here thinking what I'm thinking.... Is this one of our old friends resurfacing for yet another hate-filled diatribe against those who don't buy into his religion?)

Dave8 said...

Jim: "(Are others here thinking what I'm thinking.... Is this one of our old friends resurfacing for yet another hate-filled diatribe against those who don't buy into his religion?)"

I agree, its probably a returnee or one of the Bosom Buddies in Christ, the other BBC. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why ex-Christians feel the need to attack Christians or people who believe in Christ. I find it hypocritical of ex-Christians to say that Christians are narrow minded and intolerant while at the same time they are attacking Christians for their beliefs. As a Christian I will be the first to say that many Christians are narrow minded and not accepting of other beliefs, but from what I have read on this site in general it does not seem like people on here are very open minded either. If you are not a Christian and do not believe in Christ that's fine, but I find it amazing the need for some ex-Christians to come on this site and jump on the band wagon and critisize Christianity.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous said "I don't understand why ex-Christians feel the need to attack Christians or people who believe in Christ."

First, there are altogether too many Anonymouses (Anonymi?) running around to keep track of who is who, so forgive me if I confuse your sentiments with those of another Anonymous. Look, Anonymous, here's the deal. (I will speak for myself here, although I am confident that many of the regulars here will agree with me.) You are 100% welcome to believe WHATEVER you want. You can build a shrine to Krishna, or the Easter bunny if you want, and you can pray to whoever/whatever makes you feel happy. That's your right, and it doesn't bother me one tiny bit. In fact, I'm happy to live in a society that (ostensibly) allows for religious diversity.

HOWEVER.... if you (or your ilk) come here and cast aspersions at those who do not share your beliefs, or threaten us with eternal damnation for not adopting YOUR beliefs, or make sweeping claims about your deity with nothing but wishful thinking to back it up, then don't be surprised when you are CHALLENGED ON IT! While you have every right to speak you mind, SO DO WE. Do you agree with that or not?

Anonymous: "I find it hypocritical of ex-Christians to say that Christians are narrow minded and intolerant while at the same time they are attacking Christians for their beliefs."

Watch that broad brush of yours. You can no more place all ex-Christians into the same bin as all religionists. If you disagree with what somebody has said, then speak up and be specific. Yes, some Christians ARE narrow minded and bigoted, and some are not. The same is so of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, and atheists. We're all human.

Anonymous: "As a Christian I will be the first to say that many Christians are narrow minded and not accepting of other beliefs, but from what I have read on this site in general it does not seem like people on here are very open minded either."

Then you need to read more. There is no creed here. There is no dogma that is tossed out for everybody to swallow. There is nothing that cannot be questioned here. If you want to praise your deity, then knock yourself out. We will call you on faulty logic, however.

Anonymous: "If you are not a Christian and do not believe in Christ that's fine, but I find it amazing the need for some ex-Christians to come on this site and jump on the band wagon and critisize Christianity."

All of us here agree on one thing: Christianity is based on a myth. We come here for different reasons; some to vent about years wasted in pursuit of a myth, or years for emotional abuse under the guise of a loving belief system. Others (like me) because it's fascinating to exchange ideas with those who have a totally different set of beliefs than me, and also to lend a hand to those who are struggling to regain a sense of stability after leaving an all-consuming religion.

If you want to engage in civil discourse, then stop all the nonsensical blather about ex-Christians attacking you. You came HERE, after all, did you not? Admit that you simply take umbrage at our refusing to adopt your way of thinking. Better yet, learn to accept that others can legitimately disagree with you. Now, is there something that you wish to discuss?

P.S. For the sake of keeping you all straight, can you please pick a screen name other than Anonymous?

freeman said...

Jim Avro,
In complete agreement! Well said, thank you.

ped said...

"I don't understand why ex-Christians feel the need to attack Christians or people who believe in Christ."

you are here spitting out your mythology arent you? if you dont like it...... leave. you people have unbelievable political clout, you deserved to be treated like shit..your black/white...no color you're not divine you're a perennial dichotomy.
fucking take a good hard look at the (round..hahaha)world you live in, a big hard look through time and space.

Emaneul Goldstein said...

Oh no, ped doesn't see anything in black and white, no siree!!!

What a phonie.

But step out on your own, "on the eve"...and see how much of a flying fuck the world gives about you.

See how secular or atheist organizations treat you...and don't be suprised when they toss you out on your ass if you get sick or unemployed or are otherwise of no use to them.

Dave8 said...

Emaneul Goldstein: "But step out on your own, "on the eve"...and see how much of a flying fuck the world gives about you."

Religions are typically the worst for preying on people in a time of need, one must give up their mind in order to be cared for, yeah, that's the ticket.

Emaneul Goldstein: "See how secular or atheist organizations treat you...and don't be suprised when they toss you out on your ass if you get sick or unemployed or are otherwise of no use to them."

Atheists are not a religious group, and are not in the business of collecting money, and distributing it to the community like a mental-mafia... That's what government is for, hence the need for separation of church and state. If the unemployment rate is a whopping one or two percent, it seems someone should be able to get a job, well, unless they are going to be discriminated against because a person doesn't have a religion.

ped said...

dude please. are you a chraistian calling me a hypoctite! i dont see things in black and white....why, its called being conscious and mindful.

and yeah ive been thrown out of three churches for
1. not dressing right.
2. saying i have respect for catholics.
3. stating i like jesus but i seriously doubt the rest of the bible.

my brother was in a motorcycle accident on october 28 2005. his employer (patio enclosres inc.) tried to fire him because of the doctor ordered 3 month leave. the reason....they couldnt afford to pay his health insurance (later found out it costs .75 for every 100.00) while he wasnt working. now its a small comapany, 27 employees. what did they offer him while i was sitting right there when he asked if he could come back to work on lite duty cuss he cant pay his bills...."NO, but you'll be in our prayers." as if that will keep him from living in the streets eating garbage. they also make fun of him for voting for kerry.

needless to say i told them right there that thanks to clinton 'the family and medical leave act of 1993' prohibits termination of employee and benefits for the time that the employee is on leave.

Freddy said...

thanks for sharing , i too am on the eve of being a ex-christian
i am a ordained minister /christian counselor,
recently divorced. My 4 children
all attend fundamental christian school where their mother teaches,
they tell of the things they are
being taught and it takes a lot of
restraint not too kidnap them a put them in secular school,

I was also a christian songwrighter
and wrote over 200 sappy mellow dramatic songs.....what a waste!
HANG IN THERE,..FREEDY

winston smith said...

"Oh no, ped doesn't see anything in black and white, no siree!!!

What a phonie.

But step out on your own, "on the eve"...and see how much of a flying fuck the world gives about you.

See how secular or atheist organizations treat you...and don't be suprised when they toss you out on your ass if you get sick or unemployed or are otherwise of no use to them."

i have to agree.......a christian calling anyone else a hypocrite is a hoot.
i guess you think that everyone here is a 16 year old living at home. mmmmmmk.
is emmanual a hurt child. the big bad world let him down. hmm would you like a soda big man, maybe ..maybe a blanky?


you mean when they throw you on your ass like a picturesque god/republican labor outsource.

you apparently dont live in a heavy religious/republican state like me. where the state minimum wage is 3.35 an hour. ran by gov. bob taft.. a religious conservative. yeah id like to see you get an apartment and eat on that kinda money. lets also not forget the 5.15 an hour federal wage, which billy grahams minion refuses to raise. why? inflation you say... well we wouldn't have inflation if religious pigs took an earnings cut isntead of passing it on to the consumer....but no socialism is the devils coke to you fucking dipshits.

you're the phonie.

Anonymous said...

Just to back up Anonymous in a neutral way, I think that both sides are being very hypocritical. That is one of the pitfalls of being human and I think that we all need to forgive eachother, myself included. I think that Anonymous was wrong to say that ex-christians should not critisize christianity on this site because it is a site that was built for the purpose of finding what was wrong with our beliefs. I still think however, that we all need to be more kind and accepting of eachother's views and not belittling comments that are made. I think that we need to debate and encourage, not argue and fight over whos being nicest to the person who gave the testimony in the first place.

I don't think that the christians should come on here just to tell the ex-christians "no, your wrong" or "intervene" in the decussions here but I also don't think that the exchristians should blame the christians for everything that goes on wrong inside the church. I think that we are all in aggreement that not all people are like the steriotypical hypocrit in the church, and I think that we should speak like we know that.

Lastly, I think, just as a perception to life, we all need to accept one another's views more openly. We need to be more understanding that there are different circumstances in someone's life that can make each one of us believe of not believe different things. Maybe something happened in a christian's life that makes them believe the Gospel without a doubt, but maybe there is a exchristian that has gone through more than that christian and have seen "God" fail them to many times that they know without a doubt that christianity in a myth.

Anyway, sry if I stepped on anyone toes! I just think that both sides were right about different things, and I wanted to share what I think should be a bit of a truce(?). maybe(?). hopefully (?).

Well,
Happy Holidays!
Sandra M.

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