Wanting heaven and escaping hell

A de-conversion testimonial from Malaysia

Sent in by perianwalsh

Note

It was not until months later of my deconversion I decide to write down my testimonial


childhood

I was born in a part-deist/skeptic family. Being a timid child, I always take things at face value. I never dare to ask why, why that's wrong...I just accept it.

It just happened that I was fascinated by xtianity -again being a timid child, I am shy from talking to others about my own feelings, so I convinced myself that there's some higher powers/God care about my welfare, my feelings.

I was too influenced by CSLewis' chronicles of Narnia.it was after I Left xtianity then I realised he incorporated the jesus story into his book.

before:

the church members tried to tell me about Adam(I AM NOT from xtian countries so I rather devoid of the sinning concept) sinning then all men sin (that's the original sin concept) and why we need to be saved. i am amazed(some of my xtian friends,regarding to the issue,in fact are taking them as parable/parallels ).That is the first time I ever heard someone really believe in it. Anyway I do not think them as truth at the time

xtianity

the first time I went to church,the pastor preach & come down from the altar to 'give the holy spirit'to fellow members & sorta of 'exorcised' the members.He held everyone's head and shook them-I saw a woman,who was a few rows in front of me,fell down and cried.

I was frightened and determined not to fell down-I even pray for god for prevent me from falling down. When it was my turn, I felt a strength which almost knock me down. I resisted(at that time I thought I was resisting the holy spirit and even pray for forgiveness for being sinned-I even tried to let the holy spirit-re-enter me again for various times[but now I dismiss as the pastor has a brutal strength])

I even have a burning desire of never return to the church.

Few days later,I ask a fellow member.She assured me it's all right.I was relieved.But in spite of that I was lonely.So I pray for a companion.And it really happen.I was in a joy & bliss(this,had been a barrier 4 my deconversion for some time(for convinced that god really give answer to my prayers)

I discuss with them,and felt happiness with it.They seems to take concern of everyone,kind & loving.

I was rather slow at learning,surprised by the way some of them pray(like hip-hop when they speaking),but I was satisfied.i prayed daily,sought to be more truthfull with god,and try to change my selfish views,and tried to reconcile 'god is the priority 'with my own views (my views are family are the top priority),listening to xtian songs,subscribing daily xtian verse,newspapers,and reading psalms.to be more 'true xtian 'I forced some time to read daily propotion of bible.

Gradually I believe the sinnning concept,& from evolution to part evolution and little creationism

I got hard time to understand trinity.i understand the worship of god,but finally I think out of 3 substance in 1.I thought I solved all my questions.

Doubts arises

to tell the true, my beliefs are in doubt even at the beginning, although I tried hard to sink my doubts, denying myself that I have doubts. I did not believe bible things literally anymore,yet my church believe the bible as the absolute truth(that means a good moral guide).I am a liberal from start, and I think I am the only one who knew a little bit about constantine,his council of nicea.They all seems to think the bible is wholly oral tradition instead of combines. One of my encyclopaedia says there’s insufficient material on the real life of jesus.I dismiss immediately,but I could not bring myself to acknowleged that there’s something wrong.

I was especially shocked that jesus(who was highly 'advertised’ by xtians(it's more cruded,but I don't knew milder words))said about bringing sword (oh dont give me wiki links-it's most comprehensive and I read it) ,denying family members(& they put this act of a high virtue-but this one I understand why-I thought it contrast to the scene where jesus told his disciple to take care of his mother)

and cursing the fig tree( I think it has some origins, and could not be diversed)...Jesus, the highly admired, even in non-xtian communities, said that?

My thoughts are quite different from the bible, so I try to reconcile them, change them, but not with great success.

The bible has a lot of things to say about idolarity,adultery-idolatry was the greatest of all-I could not understand why god has such hatred towards that-even cslewis 'narnia' lion is better than that(anyway I knew he is a big apologist).

However I thought-John the baptist is real(I check wikipedia),so why jesus can't be real?Well I must said that I never knew,even think about checking out skeptics/historian resources.

But I could not reconcile to a god who needs worship every minute(Such as in isaiah).whether he's worthy or not,I think it rather degrade God's image.

Gradually did not thought the bible as an absolute truth.

At this time,I remembered answering someone at yahoo answers. This guy/girl realise that his/her faith just delusion of mind. Not longer after that I face a similar problem too.

Striking point

from the start I am a liberal, believing that we don't need to convert someone to our beliefs, but the bible said everyone must belief to be saved. At this point,I was too afraid to deny it.The bible said.....(A lot of things )I thought it as truth(on moral values), yet I knew, deep down inside that it wasn’t.

It happens that I am studying management, and it strikes me that although business emphasis of renewal of theory, critical thinking, yet my church members views are insisting on the bible!

the burning point, that is a conversation(and the longest one I have with them.)I was wondering what they think about other religion, and I found out that they use idolatry to them, speaking in sneering ,mocking ,like angry. They point to me verses, to ''''disprove'' them. I remember I talk something rather heretic( I forgot what is it, and it 's really unconsciously done),and they start talking about witches

(I am lucky that I didn’t bring harry potter, or the book will be burnt)...they told me to bring my family members to church...I remember that telling them somebody (nonbelievers)are good, and they told me if they be xtians they r better-I remember their tone that implies what they actually think-being christians are better people(I knew what they are trying to speak originally: Only xtian are good people, on believers are hypocrites, vipers...I bet that if two people, one xtian and one non believers, who did the same kind of great act, the xtian would be said to be good, others are bad ).yetI have knew devoting muslims,buddhist or other religions(btw including xtians) who are really loving, kind.

On another point I was grieved, for I can't hide my secret of my doubts, yet I did not want a direct confrontation.i broke down and said some part of the truth. They are somewhat convinced that I need help. they offer various way, including exorcism(by several of them).I was being exorcised(some of them even commented a lot of people got devil in their bodies without being realised.)

and I thought I feel better[BUT later back home I feel worse].They kept on on my earlier question to them about other religion. As I have told them some other religion, they told me that whenever they learn about other religion, they kept checking the bible, and they want me to focus on the bible only(for other non-xtian-materials are cults,writtings by satan )

This seems to me as a effective way of mind control. I couldn’t believe it.A God who says that wisdom is from one source only and prevent further search!!!

When i left them, I felt as it is the last day for me.I resolved to adjust my views same as them and then a voice suddenly come to me-'leave them! Leave the church'

After some thoughts, I told myself that I will consider it ,using a month's time to rethink, to readjust my values or leave the church.

I go back home, feeling as if doom is near. I look at my family and pretend to be normal. The friends, family I want to saved them, but still respecting their beliefs very much(I never tell them my conversion-I did not knew how to start it).I could not bear it.

I want to respect their beliefs, I dont want them to be sad, yet I want them to be saved My mind felt torment. I was crying.

Is there anyone who has the same doubts as me? I was thinking as suddenly a thought rang to me-hey ,if there are xtians, there must be having EX-xians.I type into google and found out this wonderful site. It gives me a lot of good points(although I did not understand much of the atheist part). I remember spending hours in class next day thinking about it.I finally decide to let go, to do research about the bible.

I spending a night to try to present it my leaving testimonial. On that day (it was Monday), I boldly told him (the name is PR) that I would leave the church, maybe for months,years,or never(I did not tell him it is unlikely I would ever come back again; I would not like to see him in grieve).I avoid telling the pastor, knowing I would not have the strength to debate with him with my beliefs. I told her that I might leave for a long time or forever. I think PR is convinced that I would come back one day, although he does not agree with my decision. Although I felt rather sorry for him, I am convinced that it’s a best decision I made.

On Aftermath


I am ashamed to say at the start ,I was determined to prove my church members wrong. I SHOULD have investigate every source, every fact before. BUT instead of finding myself an absolute right, I found out a relative new view about Jesus.I start on Simon Blackburn’s truth for the perplexed, which I had a hard time understand it. I found out that there's a lot of different research. At one point I was convinced of the Mithras theory, but after reading an apologist boast of the dead sea scrolls being supportive of xtianity,I do a research and eventuality found out it's predated and they, in fact, tried to hide the whole picture. New views keep coming in my midi read Jews view of messiah,sin,atonement, and realised that instead of they being stubborn, they are simply using biblical reasons of why jesus cant be messiah, the original sin. I start to read the old testament(I don’t have it ,so I use Hebrew translated version).I make a conclusion that you have to get first hand materials or otherwise people will interpreted them in their own way.

I am convinced that one of my reasons to convert because of wanting heaven and escape hell.

I realised that some xtian has a mistaken in regarding themselves of being confident and self-esteem-in fact they have really low esteem if taken away their concept of god.(like the Hitler’s army that says god filled in their pockets)

Sometimes I think I am pretty lonely here. There is a few people in my country that I knew left their faith because of disbelieving (btw I am from m'sia). but I think I am lucky that no one dare to proselytes in public(even thought they might persuade their friends to attend church)

I was angry that the cornerstone at the bible I read makes a conclusion that’s

(I forget the exact contents, but here is it as bellows)

“A lot of ppl said bible got errors, but a few scholars, said that the bible is too complex to be a false, supported with historical accuracy”

At first I hold to the bible passage, but when I read back the bible(especially the part that has the cornerstone)And I found why it writes like that.

[I]...source from moody bible college[/I]

I think even if Jesus exist, he’s ok, but not unique, or better than others. xtianity might inspired a lot of lives, but why they, being happy in their religion, insist on other religion folks, who being inspired by their own religion, to convert to theirs. I always heard them saying’ it’s truth that______ is the only truth'. I feel the horror of fundementalism.It promotes intolerance. In a world like today, it’s less and less possible for us to be intolerant of others or trying to convert them at every opportunity.Rather bringing joy, it will makes others disgust.

It’s time for humans to learn self-discipline-without you daddy ,mommy, teacher to told you how to behave. We need to ,at least, have some esteem of ourselves.

Forgive for my long windiness-The more I write-in felt fresh air breathe in. Thank you for listening.

13 comments:

Kara said...

You will undoubtedly feel better, and perhaps even have more joy in your life.

And you may go through your whole life feeling this way, and be glad you didn't take some narrow road that would have been full of challenges and hardship.

And you will probably inspire many others to follow your example, even though of course you say you don't want to convert (in this case de convert) anyone.

But in the end, hell is still there.

eel_shepherd said...

I really, really, liked this post. Thank you for taking the time to write it, perianwalsh. What I especially liked about it was that, even though it was just straight-up reportage (loved the reference to the congregation members' talk as "sounding like hip-hop"...), there were several statements that were the equivalents of those of famous freethinkers (like the Mark Twain comment that faith is "the ability to believe what you know ain't so.") It had something of the same tone as some clips from Julia Sweeney's one-person standup/play "Letting Go Of God"; and, perianwalsh, you might Google that show, you'd probably get a few good laughs out of it.

mizleeataoldotcom said...

Dear Perian,
Yours is one of the most poignant deconversion stories I have read in awhile. And what is the first response to it? A despicable drive by assault by a delusional fundie. (We get a lot of those on this site. They are sick, terrified people who cannot abide challenges to their warped belief systems). Kara obviously still believes in the imaginary hell and cannot, simply cannot, accept the fact that hell is an invention of the New Testament to control the credulous and the gullible.
Welcome to this site; I hope you have the continued joy of being free from a poisonous belief system. Not all of us here are atheists, as am I, but we have all used our power of independent thought to reject the evil that is Christian dogma. I think we are all the better fot it.
As for Kara? Run along, child, you are way out of your league.

Huey said...

Welcome Perian! Glad to have you here. Don't worry about being long winded. I am not one of those people that prefer "sound bites". It is easier to relate to people when you have more of their story. For example I too was influenced by the Chronicles of Narnia, except in my case, I thought they were suberbly written fantasy stories and I was an adult atheist when I read them. (Yes I know that they are meant for children. I read Harry Potter as well (and don't anyone DARE tell me how it ends!) and I am 47.)

I think that Christianity tends to look for people ripe for conversion. They seem to strike the weak, the emotional down troddin, the timid, etc. Christians seem to always go on about how god gives them strength, with statements like "strength through christ" and the like. When one is told that they are nothing, weak without their god, it is little wonder that it can be hard to break away. Religion thrives not only because it preys on the emotional weak but because it strives to keep them that way, providing them with a false sense of stength and confidence. I think breaking away is the time when one finds their true strength. It does not suprise me when the deconverted sometimes take a long time to regain or find what was always there for them.

I understand when you talk about your experience with the pastor and almost falling to the floor. I myself have felt that power, but it is an emotional power, the power of the crowd and the power of charisma, be it of an individual or group. It is always astoninshing to me how easily one picks up on the "vibes" of a crowd. It took me years to learn not to be influenced by it. People get caught up in the crowd's mood, whether at a church or a football game and there are always individuals in the crowd that look to see who isn't emotional participating and publicly villify them for it. Good orators use it to their advantage.

Don't worry about Kara. She comes across as the stereo-typical Chistian. If you can't convert them with reason and logic (LOL!) then just threaten them.

jfraysse said...

Perianwalsh: Congratulations! Your mind has Saved you! Good luck in you new life of reason and discovery!

Monk said...

Kara, shall I turn your own post against you?

To Kara:

YOU will undoubtedly feel better, and perhaps even have more joy in YOUR life.

And YOU may go through YOUR whole life feeling this way, and be glad YOU didn't take some narrow road that would have been full of challenges and hardship.

And YOU will probably inspire many others to follow YOUR example, even though of course YOU say YOU don't want to convert (in this case RE convert) anyone.

But in the end, hell is still there.


But in your case, Kara, your hell will be the petty little meaness that obviously drove you to kick a fellow human being while they were down. And if they literal hell of the bible were somehow real, I'll wager that "true Christians" like yourself will be right down there in the middle of all of us. I'm sure that would REALLY be hell for you.

Welcome to the party.

Katarina Rose said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I can definitely emphasize with your feeling of loneliness that comes with displacement from the Christian church. As for this "Kara" woman who made that unkind post, don't let it upset you. Instead let it be a reminder of the ignorance that many live in, but that you are free of!

Chris said...

Hi Perian,

Your deconversion story was inspiring and well written!

To Kara:
You said this:
But in the end, hell is still there.

You are the perfect proof that Christianity is a religious cult not based on any truth but on fear of hell. All you fuckers can do is throw hell in someone's face.

Astreja said...

Perian, I'm sorry to hear of the pain you endured. May life be good to you.

As for you, Kara, your response is vile and obscene. May everyone in your life see you for the arrogant, controlling, superstitious bitch that you are, and use that knowledge and your personal example to deconvert themselves from Christianity.

perianwalsh said...

I come from a non-christian family & a non-christian country where only a few(my parents's relatives)are christian.....so if i am a fundie,i will wanting to safe them too...i once,without a brain.....

Anonymous said...

Perianwalsh: Sometimes I think I am pretty lonely here. There is a few people in my country that I knew left their faith because of disbelieving (btw I am from m'sia).

Zen: I bet m’sia is Malaysia. I am from Indonesia. Nice to meet you here.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why it is i'm bothering to write this I doubt very much kara has stuck around to see what she has wrought. but kara if your there I just want to say you embody the true nature of the holy spirit. man, I can just see him in you, way to round up the lost sheep girl lol Did you forget the all important WWJD.

Anonymous said...

Hi Perian,
I'm Malaysian too. For a while, out of fear, I believed in Christianity too, but I quickly realised it was rubbish. Now I live my life following the Buddhist path, no, not the mixed up beliefs of our Chinese forefathers, but the real teachings of the Buddha. Its a beautiful and wonderful path and compared to our shared past, so full of wisdom and kindness.

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