Sent in by Ex-Pastor Dan

I may be the longest term, fundamentalist Christian to ever make it OUT! After about 50 years of total brainwashing, I am FREE! No more guilt, no more fear, no more unanswered questions, no more judging, no more holier-than-thou condescension, no more self-inflicted ignorance.

I was born and raised in a pentecostal, fundamentalist church. I went to church services 5 times a week. I was singing in gospel groups by the time I was 15, and by the time I was 33, I was an ordained minister.

My only salvation (no pun intended) was due to two things: I was always a truth-seeker and at 24 I met and married the most wonderful woman in the world. Together, over the next 30 years, we helped each other come out of the "fairy tale world" and into the light of REAL TRUTH.

I am so thrilled to have found this site. I was re-reading Christopher Hitchins' "God is not Great" (my new bible), and I noticed in the back acknowledgments, a phrase mentioning Dr. Michael Shermer. After looking him up on the Web, I was led to this site.

Just to know that there are others like me out there is very encouraging. I have a brother who is an ordained minister. I have two uncles and two cousins that are ministers. My 91-year-old mother has told me that God is going to do something horrible to me if I don't repent. There is a lot of pressure coming at me from family and friends to come back into the fold. But, it feels too good out here in the light of reality and TRUE truth. Knowing about this Army of ex-Christians gives me even more courage to stand up to all of the calamity-howlers that are after me.

I feel sure that I have a book in me. If for no other reason than to help me purge the last remnants of the lunacy that was my life for 50 years.

Thanks for letting me vent. I will share more later if anyone is interested.

Ex-pastor Dan


eel_shepherd said...

Attention, calling all pricks: Who's going to be the first Xtian fundie to drop in and spread a little sunshine by telling this man that he "was never a real Christian"?

What a feather in your cap this would be; what a banner opportunity to be a first-class, holier-than-thou knob.

Step right up.

R. Black said...

First, congratulations. Next, I am very interested in hearing your story. Since I was never a True Christian, I am always interested in hearing how this whole thing worked for you.

chucky jesus said...

Congratulations on arriving at the world of reason and fact! You say, however, that you were tired of the unanswered questions; I assume you mean questions such as why there are contradictions in the Bible, etc.

There are a lot of unanswered questions in the freethought world too -- some of them philosophical, many of them scientific, but the point is, that you are free to pursue answers unfettered by superstition and dogma, which usually offers the same explanations that they gave 4,000 years ago, with no change of perspective as new information is discovered.

This is the strength of science, not the weakness, that theories or particulars of theories can change with new information.

stronger now said...

I would like to hear more of your story as well. Nice to know that you got out.

Spirula said...

Ex-Pastor Dan,

Welcome. You'll find there are a number of people here with similar circumstances.

My father was a conservative Presbyterian minister, as is my brother-in-law. Most of my family (immediate) are very firm in their beliefs.

It's not easy talking with them, though. My father, long deceased, would have been more difficult with than anyone. Sometimes it's best to just stick with the small talk, if you want to avoid hurt feelings or animosity. I've been out for years, but it never really changes.

It is sad, really. But I can remember looking at my unsaved relatives with judgment and a certain sense of "otherness" when I was in that camp, so I know what they are feeling.

Anyway, stick around. Sometimes it gets hostile, crude, and rude here, but keep in mind there are a lot of hurt people that come here to vent. Additionally, there are many others here to encourage them and each other.

By the way, there are some types of unanswered questions that make the world, and living in this world, much more exciting. I'm a zoologist. If there were no unanswered questions, I really wouldn't have much to do.


Telmi said...


Congrats, for getting out of myth into reality, after all these years!

Welcome to your new-found club. And stay tuned to discussions that will further broaden your horizons.

billybee said...

I cannot express the happiness I feel when I hear of how folks like yourself have broken free from the loony bin of bibleville.

Ex-christians come in every shape and size with a testimony to match. I'll look forward to hearing yours!

Another 'soul' snatched from the jaws of stupidity....Hallelujah!!

notabarbie said...

Eel Shepherd.—no takers yet I see…way to nip it in the bud!

Dan—great testimony and so encouraging. I was in the indoctrination center for 47 years. I thought that was a long time, but you’ve got me beat! Welcome to living a life free to think and free from fear!

Please do share more. I would love to hear how you deal with all the family/friend pressure. It seems to be a theme with us fellow de-converts—just how to deal with that. How did you tell everyone and how do you respond to all the questions and threats, etc.?

Mriana said...

I'd love hear more of your story. Please continue to share it with us. :)

Jeff P said...

Notabarbie, I'm a 47 year de-convert myself! Nice to know we can still see the light of day after those long decades.

Thanks for the post, Dan. It takes a lot of courage to follow the truth wherever it leads. Reason isn't such a bad thing, is it!

Lynn said...
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Lynn said...

Dear E-P Dan,

WOWWEEE Zoweeee!!!!!!! Congratulations to you and your fabulous wife who had the guts and intellectual honesty to accompany you on your journey. You are both brave strong people. My jury is out about the existence of a deity, but if she he or it exists, she not only is not afraid of truth, she adores it. Welcome, and we'd love to hear more. Take care, Lynn

resonate11 said...

Yes! Write your book. I want to read you and your wife's story. How did you get out? What were the key moments? Which pieces of knowledge poked holes in your faith?

Reading your post put a grin on my face because my faith is that for humankind as a whole knowledge will eventually triumph over delusion. And it is so pleasing when individuals such as yourself, Ex-Pastor Dan, are able to breathe the fresh, clean air of truth.

icc said...

I am so inspired by your post. To see there are truth-seekers in the religion of lies that is Christianity is so refreshing.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the world of reason.

I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, left for the Assembly of God at about sixteen, quit church at nineteen, professed atheism at twenty. I'm now forty-seven.

Leaving the mental bondage of Christianity was the best thing that ever happened to me. At the beginning, my friends and relatives kept telling me I was going to Hell. After a number of arguments, they started to leave me alone about it.

Do lots of reading about atheism, religion, and science. Critical thinking and the aquisition of knowledge will only reaffirm your decision. You will be expected to defend your position on numerous occasions, so you'll need to be well informed.

I'm very happy for you.

Bill F said...

Hi Dan

As a Christian, I am sorry to hear of the way you are being treated by family and friends, especially the ridiculous comments from your mother, which must be particularly hurtful, coming from someone so near and loved.

If it is possible to apologise on behalf of someone else, I do, and I must say, Eel Shepherd, that if anyone doesn't seem to be a "real christian", it is Dan's 'Christian' family and friends!

I too would be interested to hear more of your story. I quite understand if you are not going to go into great detail, if you intend to write a book, but my particular interest would be to read a summary of what you have termed here the REAL TRUTH/TRUE truth.

Regards and best wishes

Cousin Ricky said...

Bill F wrote: “If it is possible to apologise on behalf of someone else, I do,…”

Actually, that may be a problem. (I say “may,” because i don’t speak for Dan. But you may want to keep what i say in mind.) You see, when we discover that there was no Savior, we find that no one is left responsible for our actions but ourselves. You cannot repair the damage that Dan’s Christian family and friends did to their relationships; only they can.

Bill F wrote: “...and I must say, Eel Shepherd, that if anyone doesn't seem to be a 'real christian', it is Dan's 'Christian' family and friends!”

And predictably, Eel, he completely misses the point! So what does he win? I’ll bet it’s a trip to some imaginary fantasyland, redeemable upon his death...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Bill F wrote: “...and I must say, Eel Shepherd, that if anyone doesn't seem to be a 'real christian', it is Dan's 'Christian' family and friends!”

It seems we have someone else who claims they know who the "Real Christians" are or who "They are not".

So much for "Judge not lest ye be judged".

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,

Congratulations on escaping the oppression known as christianity. Like many others on here, I also would be very interested in hearing more of your story.

Dan Wrote:
Dan Wrote: "My 91-year-old mother has told me that God is going to do something horrible to me if I don't repent. There is a lot of pressure coming at me from family and friends to come back into the fold."

I know what you mean. It seems making threats such as "God is going to get you, break you, or do something horrible to you" is all christians know how to do anytime someone chooses to leave the fold and reject their faith.

Once again, congratulations!


Passerby said...

Hello eel_shepherd,

I would not say that he "was never a real Christian". I would say that our freewill makes Dan's behavior completely possible for any Christian. Even scripture attests that some Christians can, through their own freewill, reject Christ and as such, become Ex-Christians.

2 Peter

20 For if they {ExChristians}, having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of (our) Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their {ExChristians} last condition is worse than their first.

21 For it would have been better for them {ExChristians} not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down to them.

22 What is expressed in the true proverb has happened to them, "The dog returns to its own vomit," and "A bathed sow returns to wallowing in the mire."

Brian said...

Hey Passerby/Luke/Norm,

I see that you are on here harassing others again.

How many times has WM told you to stop posting here? You are nothing more than a little annoying piss ant that should be squashed.

All you are doing is pissing people like myself off with your worthless bible quoting.

Who cares what "2 Peter" says? I don't give a fuck about what some stupid goddamn book says, so shove it asshole!

People like me are sick and damn tired of people like you and Dan Marvin who continue to come on here and bother us. We have busted our asses to get away from assholes like you, and we come on this site so we don't have to listen to or hear this type of bullshit from christian losers like you.

All you are doing is reminding me just how much I hate christians like you. You have "NO RESPECT" for people's privacy.

WM has told you time and time again to stop posting here, and you disrespect him and everyone else on this site by continuing to post here.

Nobody gives a shit about what your bible says, and nobody is going to change their mind about how they feel. Your bible and your so called christian witness doesn't mean shit, so get lost.

You are not welcomed here P(ASS)erby.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ricky said...

I haven't read all of the above comments, so someone might have mentioned it already, but if you want to really feel surrounded by others like you, search for "atheism" or similar terms on YouTube. There is also tons of great stuff there. Check out "PatCondell", who has been featured on this site occasionally.

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