But what if you're WRONG!?

Sent in by Philip

I've done it. I've gotten myself out of Christianity.

Now comes the hard part: letting go of YHWH altogether.

The only real problem I'm having with this has to do with this series of vows that I've made over the course of about two years -- absurd vows, having to do with my sexuality, my diet, how much money I spend: all leftovers from being a nervous Christian fearing I wasn't pious enough.

I've given up Jesus, because he wasn't the Messiah. But my timidness at finally giving up my vows has left me in a very awkward position as sort of a pseudo-Jew, still worrying whether or not Jewish god really does exist. If I can just get myself to break these vows, I'll be free. But this is the final threshold, and I don't ever want to look back if I can get past this.

I'm miserable, as this cognitive dissonance is tearing me apart: my rational mind telling me it's mystical nonsense, and my baser superstitious self who keeps saying "But what if you're WRONG!?"

Has anyone else come to a relatively similar point of leaving Christianity but circumstances have left you a bit of a Jew? Any ideas on how to finally hop off the edge?

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Insanezenmistress said...

Spent years going back and forth.
It is easy to look at the bible and the results of "salvation" and learn Jesus was not the messiah. And i can appreciate where you are in wondering if the god in question is unreal also. I think that many here would pat you on the back and tell you to chuck it all.

But you and i know it is not so easy. Well,you can look at the bible and you can compare it with other people's visions of god. You can determine that Jehova isnt wise and he isnt concistantly kind. But still, it is still asking you to fly wihtout a safty net. Humans have a thing about giveing their word or vow concerning things.

Are you vows after your better interest? Perhaps keep them for yourself.Yourself being a kind of god you cant simply shake, and which also has a bad track record.

You cant chuck yourself.

But what i wanted to tell you is that there is no freedom scale. The process of deconversion is one of dissillusionment with the faith your in. And it is wonderufll to explore a new world, but if you are trying to force yourslef to give up the god-drug, to kick the milliniea old habit of humanity, simply to tell yourself........."i got myself free"

I fear that is itself a bondage.What if you are not anti-god? What if your not done looking? You dont have to race to the atheist finish line, no one is keeping score.

I am not intending to intimidate you this way or that. But on the subect of god itself, not everyone can say chuck it no matter how "logical" a given argument may be. First off you want to be able to listen to and trust yourself, and second to have your mind turned and thrown be who ever has the better logic, is also a bondage it binds you to takeing another persons argument for it rather than to invent/explore the god-wheel for yourself.

As god cannot be prooven one way or the other. For me Leaving Christianity was my first and only chance to explore the rest of the world and make up my own ideas.

Some people say something to the effect of "i reject chrisitanity AS I rejected the other faiths before." If you had been rooting for chrisitianity when you looked at and rejected the other faiths then can you say you made the search and rejection untainted?

I cant tell you who god is or which religion if any at would work for you. But let this be about more than kicking a habit, let it be about finding your truth,and taking your life where you want it to go.

Personally Atheism does not cut it for me "spiritaully", and I thought you sounded like it was mandatory to reach some atheist finishline. I am not sure humans should rush into chosen mindsets. And choseing Atheisim becasue your backed into a disillusioned corner at the moment and would rather chuck it all isnt very rational.

*hides behind a plexiglass sheild in preperation for any flying argements that might be aimed at me. Not retreating, i am hopeing my comment is not misconstruded to mean "keep jehova" cause it isnt it is geared to "keep your own mind"*

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jimearl said...

Here's my advice: Find the religion with the proof of their belief system intact and join them. Let me know when you have found such a religion and I'll be more than happy to join you.

Meanwhile, I'll stay with my atheist knowledge. I have no problems with being an atheist, as apparently many do. It simply means I don't see any proof for a god. Cheers, Jim Earl

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that.
I was raised (brainwashed) as a Christian. After I entered college and was introduced to critical thinking, I lost my faith.

The first few years were hard. I was suicidal. (I never really attempted suicide, but I thought about it a lot.)

I think it was simply life that helped me get over it. I slowly realized that things in life in and of themselves were important and that there was plenty of significance without God.

It was for intellectual reasons that I originally left Christianity (being raised in the Christian faith is no proof that God exists), but it was the emotional side that gave me trouble, especially the fear of hell.

I chose to feed the intellectual side by reading material that supported my views, which in turn helped me overcome my fears.

Here are some books that you may find helpful:

"Atheism: The Case Against God", by George Smith

"The God Delusion", by Richard Dawkins

"Who Wrote the New Testament?", by Burton Mack

"The Jesus Puzzle", by Earl Doherty

If you study the Christian religion critically, you will find that it simply can't be true.

Go to websites like this one to find people in the same boat as you.

Hang in there.

Insanezenmistress said...

there is no religion with proof.
Even things we commonly accept have no proof, such as psychology, he effectivness of these new pills, the safty of paxil, and even one's own existance is not prooven, and mostly subjective.

jimearl said...

Hi insanezenmistress.

I can show you me, and you can show me you, however, neither of us can show a god. The reason is because all gods are fiction. We are reality. Jim Earl

eejay said...

I would have to agree with 'the antichristian'. Bt all mean try to get your hands on enough reading material as you can. All the books he mentioned are good. Another one that I just got through reading is 'Biblical Nonsense' by Jason Long. Onc you can see that the bible is so full of things that don't make sense, you should be able to come to the conclusion that what the bible says about god doesn't either. All this stuff should help. Again there is no time frame to go by for your deconversion, it is a completely individual thing. I think like most of us in time you will see things in a new light, and reach a comfort level with your decision. Getting active on the forums is a wonderful way to discuss a particular issue that may come up. Good luck and keep us posted.

Insanezenmistress said...

Biblical nonsence is online http://www.biblicalnonsense.com/


that is a good site too, exploreing what the bible religion ment to the original writers (jews)

Jimearl i agree that we we see is ourselves, we are the constituantes that make up reality. Gods as beings may be fiction, but gods as ideals of our own highest human ideas though not provable externally also make up the reality we see.

No need to argue about that, better minds they i have tried. I just mean not to close off our minds. There is much that is not prooveable, much with no facts, much that is untestible theory. IF we only went after thigns with provable facts, our realities would be very small indeed. and we would spend most of our lives fact checking ad nausium.

Somethings in life we need to take loosely, or on the best known guess. And for you that may mena a reality that is a-god and for me it is a reality that is deist-ideal and spiritaul.

this isnt the "dont throw the baby out with the bath water" arguement. This is an appeal to keep figureing out what you( or he) truely believes or wants to seek in the end. And for him it may also very well be a relaity that is A-god. My desire is that he finds himself with or without, and i have faith he will, as we all did, or are doing.

billybee said...

Hi Philip,

I followed the book to the letter when I got "saved". Still I was haunted by insecure feelings that my salvation wasn't quite intact.

Once I figured out that the bible is horseshit on paper, I began a process that is still in the making.

Our insecurity runs deep. If we could just throw a switch and become a different person we wouldn't be human.

Building mental and emotional strength takes time. Stay with it and before long you'll be amazed at how you ever doubted your better judgement.

Anonymous said...

Don't try to force yourself into disbelief, that's no better than forcing yourself to believe crap.

Just go where your intellect takes you and, most importantly, shake off the idea that some omnipotent God is going to punish you for trying your hardest and coming to the wrong decision.

That God isn't worth your time.

Best of luck

SkyEyes said...

You're not *wrong*, it's just that the drug isn't out of your system yet. I've got two things you can do to facilitate your complete recovery:

1. Read, read, read. Start with Daniel C. Dennett's Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Then read Joseph Campbell on the origins and purposes of mythology - I'd recommend his four-volume Masks of God series. Both Dennett and Campbell will give you insight into why humans developed religion in the first place, and why mythic systems are so tenacious in our culture and personal lives.

2. Get out and enjoy the natural world. Look around you. Ask yourself, "Did some supernatural being outside of the universe create all this just to serve as stage dressing for a morality play between itself and human beings?" The more you contemplate that question, the more you will come to understand how absurd it is. The side benefit is that you will develop feelings of kinship with other life forms, and you'll learn to regard the earth and the whole universe as your rightful home, a place where you belong, not a place you're just a-passin' through on your way to some supernatural realm.

Apostate_called_Jimmy said...

I just recently gotten over what you are going through. Don't worry, it should soon pass. That nagging suspicion in the back of your mind is just the result of all the years of being brain-raped.

billybee said...

Another great tool to take advantage of is the world of pod casting. There are lots of great podcasts right here at ex-xtian

youtube is another good way to grab a few minutes of reality. (just beware of the evil fundies)
Have fun, the best is yet to come!

Wayne said...

You should see if you can get your hands on Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God". It's really excellent. She touched on pretty much everything that I went through during my "de-conversion" along with some that I didn't.

It's funny, tear jerking at times, and deeply honest. I'm sure it'll lead you toward an answer to the "what if you're wrong" feelings.

Chin up - you are on the road to really LIVING LIFE. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Your concern over vows simply shows that you are a person with integrity. You take vows seriously, which they are...however, the premise of all vows are not good. It is okay to break that promise when you find out the vow itself is flawed. It means you are human, you "bought" an ideal that didn't match what you thought you "bought". Does that make sense? Give yourself some time, look at the context of the vows... it makes it easier to let them go because they really have no substance, except to instill fear and who can live like that?

sillywhispers said...

I get that you want to be a responsible person and that responsible people keep their word. That's integrity. Good for you.

Look at it this way. Say you vowed to always bring the little old lady down the street her mail. One day the little old lady died. Would you still keep picking up the mail for her? That would be stupid wouldn't it?

I'm thinking you feel the need for someone's permission to do the logical thing. You have it. It's not only the right thing to do to drop these vows, it is the sane thing to do. Be true to yourself.

So, you've let go of Christianity, have almost let go of the Jewish God, but keep worrying you might be wrong and this Jewish God really is real.

That's basically Pascal's Wager. Homer Simpson had an answer to that. He said, "Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we're just making him madder and madder"

People have been pondering this for centuries. Consider these words:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not wiling? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him GOD?" --Epicurious (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens)

Don't feel all alone just because you lose your religion. There are lots of places to find community.

Kevin Brown said...

To believe that a theistic creator deity exists and is responsible for reality, one must think the deity a primordial consciousness that wished reality to instantiate. Further, a theism/creationism believer must believe their deity was in some timeless fashion akin to "before" existence alone in a timeless, non-spatial, void without anything or any knowledge, alone as a consciousness, conscious of nothing or only itself. But this is categorically impossible, for to be conscious is to be aware of reality, and meta-consciousness must necessarily rest upon a foundation of awareness. That consciousness is awareness of reality is indisputable. Without reality there can be no awareness; without awareness there can be no consciousness. Consequently, there could not have been a primordial consciousness responsible for causing reality to obtain. Lacking a valid or sound concept of "creator", all theistic or deistic religions crumble to incoherent nonsense. There are no gods, nor was there a first cause. Please take a few moments and read Dr. Quentin Smith's essay at http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/smith_18_2.html

boomSLANG said...


Great post; great article..thanks for the link.

thirza58 said...

Hi Philip
I avoided reading the other comments as I didn't want to be influenced in any way.
I was a holy roller, bible thumping Christian for thirty years or so. I had a need to feel I belonged somewhere and that I was okay. The funny thing with my christian walk is that I always felt I could never measure up. Initially you are accepted because of the "sinner" that you are and it felt wonderful. Then the messages I perceived were but you fail...Thank God for Jesus...
Eight years ago I asked for a blank slate so I could believe in something with no preconceptions. I got that.
The only thing I know, right now, is that love is all that matters. Love of self first...most difficult thing to attain for some. We are all Divine and we are all connected.
A whole new vision opened up for me when I left the "church." It's not been easy but it's been enlightening and wonderous.
My son was about five or six when he said, "Mom, there are no mistakes if you learn from them." Out of the mouths of babes. I repeat that to myself often when I've blundered.
Another wonderful adage is from the wiccan creed which I researched, "Do what you will but harm none, including yourself."
Jesus, whom I still adore as I truly believe they didn't understand his teachings fully then and as the churches don't understand it today, did not think nothing of equating himself with the Divine. Nor should we.

AtheistToothFairy said...

thirza58 wrote:
Jesus, whom I still adore as I truly believe they didn't understand his teachings fully then and as the churches don't understand it today, did not think nothing of equating himself with the Divine. Nor should we.

Could you please explain what you mean when you say, we should equate ourselves with the "Divine"?
Are you saying that each of us can attain a god-like divine state?

Neat trick, if one can pull that off....LOL

ATF (Who first see's a need to invent the god one wants to be equal to)

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