I am an Agnostic Theist

Sent in by Brian M.

I just wanted to say thank you for this site. I've been a Christian since the age of 5, I'm now 31. I've been through it ALL!! I was raised in a mega-church in Dallas (Rockwall), TX called Church on the Rock with Dr. Larry Lea as pastor. I can undeniably admit that I've been around every single aspect of the Christian religion. Faith Movement, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Baptist, Calvinist, Armenian...I've been around. I've witnessed and taken part of healing services, church camps, slain in the spirits, speaking in tongues, Benny Hinn crusades, Rodney Howard Brown crusades, Billy Graham, Jessie Duplantis, Rod Parsley, Casey Treat, Marilyn Hickey, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, James Robison, John Hagee, Larry Lea, ....the list goes on and on. I've been exposed to a LOT of things in my lifetime when it comes to Christianity (speaking in tongues, slain in the spirit, casting out demons...all the way to conservative reformed Charismatic/Pentecostal).

It wasn't until recently that I started wondering some things about what I believe. I've been here before, gone back, back here, gone back...but this time, is the only time that I've actually stopped to think and look at it. What got me thinking about this was pre-adamite man. Then I started looking at science and archeology. Then started comparing time lines, and comparing other world religions...and to my surprise, I've been enlightened more in the past 3 months, than I have in all my 26 years of Christianity.

I now consider myself an Agnostic Theist. I believe that there's something out there, but I'm looking to see what it is. I do feel a little guilty about it, and wonder at times if I really will go to 'hell' for feeling this way. I know that most of this is due to what's been crammed in my head for so many years, by manipulation and brainwashing. But I just can't help but still feel that way...and that may have a part of me believing that there HAS to be something out there. It's a divorce that takes time, much like an abused spouse leaving a 26 year marriage.

I wanted to thank you for this site, and thank you for the continued enlightenment. I don't hate Christians. Quite frankly, I love them. If anything, I have grown to have a very strong sense of morals because of it. I just happen to see how damaging it is, and has been for me. As of now, Theist fits me best until my quest to find truth comes to an end. Thanks again. I hope that more people come to the point that I have to see things in glasses of reasoning, rather than rose colored brainwashed glasses.

22 comments:

HeIsSailing said...

Brian,
It sounds like we share a lot in common. I could have written just what you did (except that I am quite a bit older!) Actually, there are a lot of us - I am surprised how many.
Keep looking - keep asking questions, keep seeking and be honest with yourself. I do believe that God, whoever he is, will honor that.

Steven Bently said...

Yes there is something "out-there" what it is cannot be described by human beings.

Over 2000 years ago some very ignorant people made a futile attempt to describe just exactly what "it" is....why "it" must certainly be attributed an invisible ghost, yeah that's it, this (God)"it" must be a Holy Ghost, not the typical everyday run-of-the-mill-ghost, (He)can do anything, (He)is most powerful, the most powerful Holy Ghost there is.

There will always be something "out there" but it is not likely we will ever know what that something is.

Whatever that something is, it does not require nor expect worship, if it expects something from us then, "it" what ever "it" is, cannot be a God.

Telmi said...

Brian,

Really,there is nothing to be guilty about. I was, like you, a Christian for many years and until I started reading the Bible with closer attention I thought I was wordhipping an omniscient, omnipotent and "all-loving" God. I was rudely woken from my, what I shall I say, years of stupor and ignorance. If you have read the Bible in your mature years, you would realize what I am talking. The Bible God, as many people have noted, if he exists and can be taken as he has been portayed in biblical text, can be labeled a genocidal maniac, a sadomasochist, a capricious malevolent psychopath, an egotist with fears and jealousy [fear of the witch and jealous of other gods or of the worshipping of other gods by humans] and obsessed with a freakish appetite for animal sacrifice and animal blood [the smell of burnt meat and blood gave me pleasure], prolix in his speech and apparently suffering from amnesia and highly dependent on humans to execute his nefarious plans etc. How on earth did I get myself involved with this maniacal ass of a god? Herd instinct, I suppose.

The NT seems on the surface to be a world apart from the OT, but to believe in Christ is to believe in the OT God, because of Christ's claims of being "one" with the OT God, or of being the God-Son. However, on closer analysis, the teachings of the NT are nothing to shout about.

People have to be honest with what they are believing in. If they are offered textual evidence from their so-called holy gospel - of their God being a genocidal maniac, etc, they should then ask: Is this true? Is this really from the Bible? If the answer is Yes, then it is time for them to start evaluating as to whether they wish to continue with the status quo.

Being religious is not necessarily wrong. Many religious people are kind and charitable toward others, regardless of their faith. Similarly, being non-religious does not mean lacking charity or kindness toward others. To be sure, we don't need religion to teach us about morality.

You can challenge me for saying this - but we have to distinguish facts from fiction, reality from fantasy. Life can be more uncluttered once a person can see through the difference.

Spirula said...

I have grown to have a very strong sense of morals because of it. I just happen to see how damaging it is, and has been for me.

I enjoyed the post, but this comment bothered me. I hope the author can recognize the contradiction in this and realize the true source of his morality is the compassion, sympathy, empathy, altruism and cooperation we evolved as social primates. We don't need to given a "do's and don'ts" from some imaginary being. A sense of "right and wrong" are as natural as thirst and hunger.

jim earl said...

Thanks Brian, for you post. I am always excited when a christian converts back to his original place in life. We don't need religion any more than we need the lies and deception that goes along with it. Being free is a truly tremendous state to be in. Welcome to that world of reality. Trust me, you will feel better and better about yourself as time goes on. In fact, one day you will look back on this and laugh at how you were feeling about your situation. Keep on the path you are on now and continue to read more about religions, the origins of man and religion, and anything else you so desire. You are now free to be yourself.

Rich said...

Brian,
If you want to read the most persuasive argument that there is no God, read Richard Dawkins'"The God Delusion", Chapter 4 Why there almost certainly is no God".

A quote from Thomas Jefferson, which contains my new word for the day: duperies, opens the chapter. The quote is worth memorizing.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,

It does seem like you experienced Christianity completely. I can see why you are still a bit afraid but, as you wrote, like in a divorce, the wound will heal with time.

To me it doesn't matter what you believe--or not. What's important is that you not feel as if you must believe something.

Many on this website "preach" atheism, and that's fine. I respect them. But I have decided that if I ever become an atheist it would be my own decision. I won't do it to fit in with the people who post here or to appear intelligent.

So, like you, I don't know. But it doesn't matter. All I know is that I do not believe in Bible-God, and I will never again worship anything. And I also believe in myself.

I hope that soon you will discover your own beliefs and that you hang on to them for-dear-life. I hope that you let the evolution of your disbelief be a natural process in which you place your brain, your feelings, and opinions before anyone else's.

Good luck to you!

Nvrgoingbk said...

Hi Brian,

My "coming out" was a gradual process over quite a few years, but it wasn't until last year that I was sure I could no longer call myself a Christian.

The process is quite redundant, at least, for the majority of us. Our own intellectual integrity and desire to live honestly could no longer allow us to live the lie of religion.

Christianity is as influential as it is because of the Roman influence over it. Rome has always wanted to rule the world, and while they may no longer do it with the sword, they do it through religion. The Pope is the most influential man in the world. It's absolutely disgusting! I want to puke everytime I see someone bow before him and kiss his ring. Who the fuck does he think he is? I used to be disgusted by it when I was a Christian too. I find it hilarious now that Protestants think themselves so far removed from Catholicism. Knowing all that I know, I just chuckle to myself everytime I hear Protestants insult the Catholic faith. They are so fucking blind.

I too believe that there is "something else" out there, but I refuse to define "it", "him", "her", or "them", because as far as I can tell, it doesn't want to be defined. If it wanted to, it would define itself in a tangible way for the world to understand, so that there would be no need for religious wars, confusion, dissention, denominational splits, etc. I mean, WTF, if God were that concerned with our getting it right, why doesn't he just issue his message via satellite or something so there could be no room left for conjecture?

Anyway, congrats on seeing the proverbial light! Your eyes will adjust to it. The fear of "Hell" does go away. When I first visited this sight and submitted my testimony, I felt the same way, and everyone here assured me that it would pass. It has. I live my life as if there is a God that I will one day have to answer to, and that's the best that I can do. I can't say as much for most Christians.

dano said...

Brian,
I will be 71 in May. I didn't really get interested in purging my mind of religion until about 5 years ago when my natural skepticism kept running into it, every day, in every aspect of my life, and it kinda like, suddenly, dawned on me how much of what is going on today in the world has to do with it.

I have found by lurking here on this site and reading every day, several things have taken place:

I have become a lot more knowledgeable about this subject, that has occupied the minds of people, since they acquired the ability to think, and reason, and express their thoughts with speech.

I have come to a point where I realize that the more someone knows about religion and all things mystical, the less he wants to clutter up his brain with it. (And that's good)....

....but it seems to me that there must be an evolved part of our brains that keeps wanting to gravitate, to a desire to believe in an all powerful, first cause, that ultimately is good, and to which, all of our lives count for something.

I like you, and many more, here on this site, have gradually erased, most of the more nonsensical, religiosity from my psyche, but I think it is impossible to completely lose hope that there is something out there looking out for us.

I for one don't want to be labeled anything permanently, so I call myself an (agnostictheistdeistatheist), some days and a (rationalisthumanistevolutionist) on others.
Dan

Pete said...

Great post. This sums up my feelings as accurately as any I've read on here.

I've been in the church pretty much all my life but have now come to the point where I've acknowledged to myself (and a few select others) that all the seemingly contradictory bits of the Bible really are contradictory. It seems that when faced with these apparent contradictions, the typical Christian has 2 choices: either jump through a multitude of hoops in order to come up with some improbable explanation that makes them all disappear OR accept that the Bible is flawed and should not be seen as a source of divine wisdom which must be obeyed no matter what. Unfortunately there are many who find it easy to brush aside all the logical problems of belief in the biblical God and choose the first option. I wonder...if Christianity was an insignificant religion with just a handful of followers, would they be so quick to convince themselves it's true? I doubt it somehow. It seems that for a lot of people, sheer weight of numbers is a big factor when it comes to choosing a belief.

Joe said...

At about age 7 & 8 my boys started creating their own Pokemon. They all had amazing special attacks and defenses and 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 hit points. Point being, it only takes a 7 year old to create a god. The mature mind just steps back and chuckles.

No slight to the anti-religion activists. I appreciate the efforts. But, Brian, I hope that you can see the funny side as well.

Epicurienne said...

Welcome, Brian.

I, too, am not really an atheist...but I know for sure that I'm no longer a Christian. I have no beef with atheists (or theists for that matter if they aren't butting into my business) - but I find I don't really fit into ANY camp. There is no belief system that I can accept unquestioningly, 100%, without reservations - and that includes atheism.

But this place welcomes people like us. Congratulations on having the courage to acknowledge to yourself what you really do and do not believe! It's quite an exhilarating journey, isn't it?

jim earl said...

To all the posters who don't claim to be an atheist:

If you're not a christian, then you are an atheist to that god. If you don't believe the muslim god exists, you are an atheist to him as well. I have no problem with claiming that I am an atheist to every religion known to man. I see no evidence of any such deities. Therefore, I am an atheist. No big deal. If there is an unknown god out there somewhere, he must leave some hint of evidence around for me to believe in him. Meanwhile, I will proudly proclaim to be an atheist until such evidence surfaces.

Too many people seem afraid of the word atheist. It simply means no belief in the gods others believe in. Delusion rules the world and I am more than happy to admit I don't believe like most people living today. I would much rather be called an atheist than any other label depicting belief of any known religion, thank you very much!

The Very Irreverand Bill Baker said...

Thanks for sharing.

You could be Deist.

Personally I am.

Thomas Paine sums it up wonderfully in his book THE AGE OF REASON:"God is the power of first cause,nature is the law, matter is the subject acted upon".

Anyways. Welcome to reason.

In Reason:
Bill "Iconoclastithon' baker

Telmi said...

To Jim Earl

"To all the posters who don't claim to be an atheist:

If you're not a christian, then you are an atheist to that god etc"

Well said, Jim. That's a good example of being honest with one's attitudes/beliefs.

muttmutt1978 said...

Im also from Texas, ive run the gambit, been to Lutheran, SOuthern Baptist, Pentecostal, Jew for Jesus and Catholic church, and its been a long tough two years, and i dont doubt for one moment that ive made the right decision in leaving christianity. My reasons are because of emotional and mental abuse, however I also remeber many times ive been drawn to the *New Age* section of any bookstore, there are many times that i was threatened to leave over debates, ive almost been fired over religion because someone wanted me to be christian, and there are many times where i dont feel comfortable at work, because it is mainly christians that go here. Im not going to compromise what i believe because everyone else in Texas believes the same thing, however, I know that Texas doenst tolerate non christians well, so its time for me to pack my bags and leave Texas.

elwisa said...

God loves yoo and that god is jehover and he has a son jesus christ... please email me at j_o_n_i@hotmail.co.uk if yoo have any questions about whats out there cos yoo need to step back think about the miricals yoov seen and realize there is a god...

Anonymous said...

To Brian..

Is it really your faith your are quetioning? Or is it something else... Where you swept way by just the motivation message behind all of these well known people.. and labled it faith, God, ect. Just b/c things did not turn out ?? I am speaking for myself.. I too have so much in common with you... Your past is a mirror of mine. Same people same city... I just wanted to encourgage you to look deeper. You will find peace and find what you are looking for.
Michelle- sd, CA

Chris said...

elwisa,

Are you missing some brain cells, or are you trying to be funny or cute with your poor spelling. Either way, you're not doing much justice to your cause.

Chris said...

anonymous,

Anyone can look deeper for that magical penny at the bottom of the pool, but if you stay down there too long, you drown to death. Unless of course you're rescued before you die, then you're just brain damaged. No harm, really.

Why is it that we have to knock on a dozen doors before we find the "right" one? Why is it that we have to seek after God for years before we find him? And then we find out that we didn't really find him, so it's back to seeking again? Where the fuck is this mythical Christ who should be knocking on our heart's door? Why is it that we've all sought after him, but can't seem to find him? There's only one logical answer to these questions. Think about it.

Geoff, Jill, Linc & Ezri said...

I am in the same situation- lost my faith at 23- very comarable to finding out your spouse has been cheating on you. You don't want to believe it, but the more evidence you gather, the harder it is to deny. We have been deceived. The worst part is that even if you show your friends the love letters & lost panties, they will continue to deny the evidence.

Geoff, Jill, Linc & Ezri said...

I am in the same situation- lost my faith at 23- very comparable to finding out your spouse has been cheating on you. You don't want to believe it, but the more evidence you gather, the harder it is to deny. We have been deceived. The worst part is that even if you show your friends the love letters & lost panties, they will continue to deny the evidence.

Archived Testimonial Pageviews this week: