Is moving away the only easy way to leave the faith?

Sent in by Brian T

I was a "believer" starting at the age of 19. The conversion experience seemed real enough. I have to admit that I felt that feeling of weight lifted off, an indescribable peace, and I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about.

I didn't begin doubting until I began to learn more about the history or origin of the bible. I was puzzled as to why pastors in a church never mention how the story of Moses in a basket is similar to an older story from the Annals of Sargon. There are other stories in other religions about someone being raised from the dead.

I remember learning about ziggurats and later hearing a pastor mention it. "You don't need to know about ziggurats." was in his sermon. Why not explain what ziggurats were?

I loved the "Da Vinci Code" movie. The more and more I learned about the Bible the less and less I believed in Christianity.

I am still in the closet except to my spouse, who has tried to be understanding, but can't help but feel betrayed.

I don't want to be hostile to any religion, unfortunately that's what many Christians sects do. I don't want to abandon one type of hypocrisy for another.

Any advice, is moving away the only easy way to leave the faith?

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19 comments:

Carl K said...

Moving away from what?

You don't mention what part of the country you live in. Some are pretty intolerant to nonreligious people, many more are not.

Even in those parts of the country that are religious, there are usually humanists, freethinkers, atheist and other non-religious groups available to those who seek them. Use Google.

I'm glad you're able to confide in your spouse. That is a good start. My own spouse (of 36 years) is Catholic, and hasn't really taken it that well. Nor is she all that happy with our recent move from California.

Stillm life goes on, and if you want more of my interaction, leave a message here with a way to get together.

Anonymous said...

Carl K, you mention "the" country. Which country are you assuming the author lives in? The same one as you?

notabarbie said...

I completely understand the moving away idea. I've thought about it many times myself because if you have been deeply involved in the "Christian community," the pressure is awesome. I wish I could tell you an easy way to leave the faith. I don't think there is one. I've been doing it very gradually. I've stopped going to church, my husband goes without me, but I haven't really shared my all out rejection of Christianity with anyone else. I've gotten some good advice from others here and on other blogs--take it slow, you don't have to tell everyone what's going on and try attending a different church, perhaps a Unitarian Universalist church. Believe me, that will get closed minded Christians off your back very quickly. I wish I could help more. Those of us who have left know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. The hard part, for me anyway, is building a new community to connect with, but I believe it is doable and kind of exciting in a way. Hang in there. It gets better.

Wondering said...

Speaking of tolerance, I have found that being in an academic environment and expressing any religious beliefs is VERY dangerous to your career.

What would you all suggest?

stronger now said...

Moving away, for me, was not easy. It was better than stayng put, but it wasn't easy for me. I was building a life for me and my wife and our kids. Had a nice house, good job, money, and lived close to my mom and siblings. The pressure to conform was huge. I decided to take my wife and kids and get gone so I could save what little sanity I had. I feel it was the right decision. But, it wasn't easy.

Anonymous said...

The word "faith" is part of the con.

If the believer or non-believer has not enough "faith" then it is made to appear that there is something wrong with you.

Do you get this?

whitehawke said...

Brian - what have lost faith in is merely a man made scam. A scam because it facilitated control for its founders and that control kept its followers from shedding it like the skin of a snake when they outgrew it. The world remained flat for the Roman religion - and why? Why, because to say otherwise would cast doubt on the Bible's authority. Once you undermine the Bible's authority you may move on to more serious transgressions like undermining the Pope's authority.

Therein lies your dilemma. You know better but you are unable to fully accept it. It is called cognitive dissonance in psychology. It is the inability to accept what you see with your own eyes because it goes against your programming.

I advise watching “the Matrix” with new eyes. “Going down the rabbit hole” is analogous to knowledge in this movie. Virtually everyone is living a tailor-made dream, life just like they would imagine it – except for one thing. They live to power the matrix with their earthly bodies. Just outside their dream is reality – not as pretty but real. The key point is made when the traitor rats them out to the “inquisitors” (Smiths) and says something like – I don’t care if it isn’t real, it feels good, it’s what I want! You might see yourself in there somewhere.

I was never spiritual until I left Christianity. There’s a lot of real magic in this world if you take off the blinders and tune in. The only thing that fascinates me about Christianity is how they are still able to pull it off.

Josh said...

Well Brian,

Your pastor should not searched your question and given you a valid response. One should always think for themselves and search out the truth. Where our beliefs and truth intertwine we have knowledge. For instance, your pastor should have said that the Annals of Sargon I around 3000 BC does seem to be a parallel of Exodus 1:22-2:10. Also because Moses walked the earth around 1440 or 1250 BC this Sumer text was a precursor. Even so, it does not mean that these text are related or even copied. I would recommend this, search out everything you hear for yourself. This includes Biblical and non-Biblical ideals. Do not assume that because someone is a pastor, leader, scientist, historian... etc. that their words are truth.

BTW, the Divinci code is lacking accuracy when it comes to many things, especially that art references according to one art historian I know educated at a secular university.

Have a good night,

Josh

Paul said...

I'm curious to all of you who have been liberated from Christianity what "belief" do you have now?

.:webmaster:. said...

Paul,

Your question is meaningless as stated, but I'll assume you mean, "What religion do you believe in now that you are no longer believing in Christianity?"

I can only answer for myself, and others would have to answer individually, but I don't believe in any religion at all. I think they are all rooted in mythology and superstition.

Lorena said...

Brian T.,

I didn't move away and it was hard. For the first year, I seldom left my house and I was terrified of finding Christians I knew when I went out.

This is my second year, and it isn't nearly as difficult anymore. I meet my former Christian friends, talk about meaningless things like the weather, and go on my way.

It gets better, Brian. You become stronger and sure of your disbelief. Once you are sure that there is no going back. You can walk with your head up.

Paul,
You ask what we are now. Well, I am into personal growth. I have always been.

But a person who likes to grow must stay away from religion, because it is a closed box. There is no place to grow in a place where the herd mentality reigns.

If I have to believe the same as everyone else to be "in," then, how can I ever grow farther than the other group members?

Christianity failed miserably at allowing me to grow; instead, it kept me stagnant, with a tell-me-what-to-do attitude. It made me insecure and pushed me to put myself down whenever I outshone those around me, especially the Christian leaders.

Religion is for sitting ducks who are comfortable being told what to do and what to think. It is for people who don't want to think for themselves.

Church is a free thinker's definition of hell.

Josh said...

Religion is for sitting ducks who are comfortable being told what to do and what to think. It is for people who don't want to think for themselves.

Church is a free thinker's definition of hell.

I consider myself a free thinker and a very logical person. I enjoy education and try to expand my knowledge when possible. Lorena? would free thinking not include thinking about religion? If it doesn't then does this "free thinking" actually limit the thinker

Peace be with you,

josh

.:webmaster:. said...

Josh,

Please keep in mind that we ALL once were Christians. Some of us were Christians for decades, well studied, and in leadership positions in "the Church."

We thought about it... a lot. For many of us, leaving the cult was traumatic and painful. Free thinking would include thinking ABOUT religion (that's what we are doing here), but free thinking certainly does not include constricting every thought into compliance with a magical, ridiculous religious cult. That is called mental bondage.

Lorena said...

Josh:
would free thinking not include thinking about religion? If it doesn't then does this "free thinking" actually limit the thinker

Lorena:
You said you are a logical person, but you aren't showing signs of it.

I would think that any logical person would come to the conclusion that someone who calls herself an "Ex-Christian" has thought a lot about religion.

Forty years, to be exact. Forty disgraceful, wasted years of accepting ignorance as the absolute truth.

Believe me, I've thought about it. I still do. The end result of such thinking usually is feeling really stupid for having believed, among other idiocies, that donkeys and snakes can speak and that a person can survive for three months in the digestive system of a fish.

To me you are a pseudo intellectual who has arrived here thinking you are asking intelligent questions, but you are not.

Stop insulting my intelligence.

Dee said...

Hi Brian
The most important thing you can do is to carefully seek for the truth in everything you explore. The DaVinci Code unfortunately was a good read but error filled. National Geographic did a great story on the Knights Templar.
As to your former pastor and Moses ask him his thoughts on these other stories. If he doesn't know, find one that does. I was never Cathloic but I wanted to how the theory of purgatory developed. I asked around and found the name of a very nice and highly educated priest who answered my questions and gave me books to reference. I don't believe in purgatory but I understand it.
Seek for the truth in all you do. Also, accept the fact that there are brilliant people on all sides of faith. Find out why they are the way they are. Read Richard Dawkins but also read Francis Collins. Ask lots and lots of questions. Its a long journey but, frankly, it is fascinating.
Dee

eel_shepherd said...

Brian T., in the topic post, asked:
"...is moving away the only easy way to leave the faith?"

Depends where you are. Not very helpful, was I? It's because the only long-term realities I've known are Regina, SK, and Vancouver, BC. In those two cases, I'd say no; nothing could be easier. If you were from rural Alberta, I'd say it'd be a lot harder to stay behind; and in rural Alabama, it'd be close on to impossible.

An interesting study of Americans who won great big lottery prizes observed that the winners almost invariably _moved_. Also, of the ones who didn't out and out quit their jobs, some of them were "let go" (nothing an employer fancies less than an employee who doesn't really need the paycheque...).

I recommend listening to the early Bob Dylan song "Restless Farewell", and seeing how the words resonate with you in your current situation/environment. Among other things, of course. But sometimes just hearing a piece of advice, or lots of pieces of advice, fall short of where you are, and short of where they need to reach.

tom b said...

wow you folks are amazing what kind of life it must be to have no absolutes. You are quick to call the Christian faith a hypocrisy, but you should have the logic to see that it was the people who were the hypocrites not the faith. What teaching of Christ is hypocrisy. Your gnosticism or atheism is no less a religion then catholicism or any other religion. Christianity is about faith & a relationship with God.

tom b said...

wow you folks are amazing what kind of life it must be to have no absolutes. You are quick to call the Christian faith a hypocrisy, but you should have the logic to see that it was the people who were the hypocrites not the faith. What teaching of Christ is hypocrisy. Your gnosticism or atheism is no less a religion then catholicism or any other religion. Christianity is about faith & a relationship with God.

Astreja said...

Tom B: "What teaching of Christ is hypocrisy?"

Matthew 5:22 - "...Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

versus:

Matthew 23:7 - "Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?"

Can't even follow his own advice. Sheesh.

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