Why I’m no longer a Christian

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#21 Jul 3, 2008
Abbey Yoyo wrote:
The description of the public testifying required of some church-goers sounds a lot like the public confessions that were/are required of people in nations like the old USSR and China.
Abbey Yoyo:

I've been enjoying your posts for a while, now.

Evangelical Christianity as communism. I admit, the parallels had never entered my head.

I'm smiling, though, as I write this.

Thanks.
micah

United States

#22 Jul 3, 2008
I have enjoyed reading your posts and learning your story.

It is quite similar to my experience.

Plan to reply at length soon.

Must engage the day and tilt at a few windmills for the good of mankind, the world and all else.

Thanks for your openness and words.

peace
micah

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#23 Jul 3, 2008
FundieSmacker wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Couth.
I want to tell you that I have enjoyed each and every post of yours where I've seen them. I appreciated this one of yours probably more than any other, for several reasons - you've taken the time to really explain how you got where you are is one of them, and I thank you for doing so.
I was raised Catholic like Moncie, and now consider myself a "secular humanist". Several things happened to lead me this way which I probably will explain at some point on this thread. I'll come back here this weekend and post some more but thank you very much for this thread and your thoughts in general. They're always appreciated by me.
Thanks, FundieSmacker.

It means something to me.

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#24 Jul 3, 2008
Redbird wrote:
...I just think given your background of going to Church as a child,if you will go back now you WILL REALLY find REAL Salvation!!It's never to late to be saved.In My Honest Opinion!!MAY GOD BLESS YOU!!
Redbird:

Thanks for taking the time to read my reflections. I'll try to take time to think over your comments.

No promises, though....
Breaveheart

Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

#25 Jul 3, 2008
DearthOfCouth you sound like a man with a plan...
New ager...

god unto himself... me, me, me attetude!!!

I love you brother!!

“FRENCH Canadian”

Since: Jun 08

Montréal, Canada

#26 Jul 3, 2008
the answer as to Why I’m no longer a Christian is that after looking at the way those Americans Christians were acting, totally blind in faith in a stadium , listening to a preacher doing false miracles and giving their money to a liar/false prophet , I thought it was better for me to get out of this nonsense before it's too late. More I read all those post and forum thread about those illuminated zealous christian, more i think that something is wrong with all the religions. I love science and I believe in evolution. More those Christians try to convert me, more I see that they are totally blinded by faith. They can't write 2 lines without using the word god everywhere. They need psychological help.

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William

Pittsburgh, PA

#27 Jul 3, 2008
Hey, DOC ...
I'm a Christian minister myself, and I've struggled with my own doubts, so when I read your posts I was touched with your openness and honesty.
You may find this surprising, but I am entirely willing to grant the validity of your struggle and I also respect your decision. I do not agree with it, but I must say that I am more disturbed by those who seem to mindlessly accept matters of faith without struggle, and while I do not doubt the depths of their emotion, I do doubt the authenticity of their belief.
You wrote much of your own feelings (or lack thereof)... have you ever considered that faith isn't based on feeling, but rather on a chain of facts that descend from eyewitness testimony about Christ? The solidity of verifiable textual evidence is what holds my anchor firm in the midst of my own emotional turmoil. If I acted only on what I felt, I'd have departed the ranks of believers long ago ... especially when my infant daughter died and my wife and I found ourselves unable to have another child.
I think, DOC, that you are in the very spot of existence that reveals the beginnings of true faith. The soil of a heart plowed by doubt is ready to grow a faith not based on the whims of subjective feeling and fickle emotion.
I don't condemn you, nor have I any contempt for your statements. I would challenge you to re-examine Christianity from the historical / textual perspective, if you haven't already. Have you done any such reading? I think Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ" is helpful. He was a journalist and legal reporter who styled himself an atheist until he thorougly investigated the claims of Christianity using the rigourously objective methods of his trade. He wasn't convinced on emotion or the experiences of others. Neither was I. You haven't been ... why not give another angle a try?
I think you've escaped a prison constructed of tradition, habit, and peer pressure, but I'd encourage you not to wander unfettered from a real search for God not based on your feelings or those related by others. I encourage you to think of this as a beginning of real faith, and the end of a false faith.
Look around you, DOC. How could all this be without a Creator? And if all this is, and if He is, don't you think He cares?
Anyway, gotta go ... but just know that what you've done is cool with lots of real Christians who don't judge you for it, but want you to grow because of it!

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“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#28 Jul 3, 2008
micah wrote:
I have enjoyed reading your posts and learning your story.
It is quite similar to my experience.
Plan to reply at length soon.
Must engage the day and tilt at a few windmills for the good of mankind, the world and all else.
Thanks for your openness and words.
peace
micah
Thank, Micah.

I'll be looking forward to reading your reflections.

You da man!
Redbird

Horse Cave, KY

#29 Jul 3, 2008
DearthOfCouth wrote:
<quoted text>
Redbird:
Thanks for taking the time to read my reflections. I'll try to take time to think over your comments.
No promises, though....
You are very welcome!I hope you do seek and find the Lord!I just think maybe YOU were to young and not ready at age ten to be saved!There is no magic age to be saved!Good Luck and God Bless You!

“Keeping my fingers crossed ...”

Since: Aug 07

Life's enduring gifts

#30 Jul 3, 2008
Hey, DoC, I was really moved by your words. In my experience, I have always wondered what it is about Baptists that seems to make them one of the most rabidly fundie groups of people around. I know not all of them are like that; it just seems like those are the ones you hear the most about.

“Its all in the mind..or is it?”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#31 Jul 3, 2008
DearthOfCouth wrote:
Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part One
I was raised from my infancy by deeply religious people, surrounded by a family full of Baptist preachers, deacons and missionaries. I myself was baptized, as well as I can recall, at about the age of ten.
I can remember being struck by the fact that everyone around me at the time – and I do mean everyone – kept telling me that what I had just experienced was the most important event of my life, and that everything else I would ever do would shrink to insignificance alongside it. I was receiving the power of the Lord. It was a special time for me.
Well, I enjoyed all the attention, as any kid would, but I remember wondering: Why don’t I feel any different, myself? I thought about my attitudes, my perceptions, the circumstances of my life, and I couldn’t think of a single thing that was any different, now that I was one with Jesus. No matter how hard I tried to find something new and meaningful, there was nothing. It was a hollow, empty, and lonely sensation, and surprisingly so. It was not what I had expected at all.
I concluded after a time that I must not be doing something right. Everyone around me seemed so confident and secure in their faith and mine so tenuous in comparison, I felt left out. The shortcoming, I decided, must be mine. I must be missing something.
I resolved to try harder. I devoted myself to Bible study and prayer. I sensed that everyone around me would be horrified if I were to express any of these reservations I was feeling, so I kept them to myself. I suppressed them, and did my best to forget them altogether.
The years went by and I attended services regularly but somehow I never quite shook the uneasy sense, in the back of my mind, that I had never truly felt the presence of a transcendent being – Jesus, God, or anyone at all.
I remained outwardly compliant, but inwardly I began to feel isolated and as much as I tried to banish this feeling, it persisted. As I reached adulthood it intensified until I became aware that, despite my best efforts, it was not going to go way. More troubling still was the bulk of doubts I began to feel about matters of doctrine. I began to doubt, among many other things, the true value of grace.
But I tried to put these issues out of my mind. What I was doing, of course, was not avoiding a crisis but merely postponing it When it finally arrived it hit so suddenly, it startled me.
I imagine many must go thru what you did. Looks like most decide to stay.As I say. Its all in the mind...

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#32 Jul 3, 2008
William wrote:
Hey, DOC ...
I'm a Christian minister myself, and I've struggled with my own doubts, so when I read your posts I was touched with your openness and honesty.
You may find this surprising, but I am entirely willing to grant the validity of your struggle and I also respect your decision. I do not agree with it, but I must say that I am more disturbed by those who seem to mindlessly accept matters of faith without struggle, and while I do not doubt the depths of their emotion, I do doubt the authenticity of their belief.
You wrote much of your own feelings (or lack thereof)... have you ever considered that faith isn't based on feeling, but rather on a chain of facts that descend from eyewitness testimony about Christ? The solidity of verifiable textual evidence is what holds my anchor firm in the midst of my own emotional turmoil. If I acted only on what I felt, I'd have departed the ranks of believers long ago ... especially when my infant daughter died and my wife and I found ourselves unable to have another child.
I think, DOC, that you are in the very spot of existence that reveals the beginnings of true faith. The soil of a heart plowed by doubt is ready to grow a faith not based on the whims of subjective feeling and fickle emotion.
I don't condemn you, nor have I any contempt for your statements. I would challenge you to re-examine Christianity from the historical / textual perspective, if you haven't already. Have you done any such reading? I think Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ" is helpful. He was a journalist and legal reporter who styled himself an atheist until he thorougly investigated the claims of Christianity using the rigourously objective methods of his trade. He wasn't convinced on emotion or the experiences of others. Neither was I. You haven't been ... why not give another angle a try?
I think you've escaped a prison constructed of tradition, habit, and peer pressure, but I'd encourage you not to wander unfettered from a real search for God not based on your feelings or those related by others. I encourage you to think of this as a beginning of real faith, and the end of a false faith.
Look around you, DOC. How could all this be without a Creator? And if all this is, and if He is, don't you think He cares?
Anyway, gotta go ... but just know that what you've done is cool with lots of real Christians who don't judge you for it, but want you to grow because of it!
Thanks, William. I very much appreciate your honesty and your compassion.

I have, in fact, read the Strobel book (my sister mailed it to me). But I have also read Christopher Hitchens' "God is not Great" and I have to admit in candor that I personally find Hitchens more persuasive.

I won't stop thinking these things over, though.
Breaveheart

Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

#33 Jul 3, 2008
Deathofcouth I've never been on these topic or chat rooms before, I think I'm jumping all over the place with my opinions...
I did not take the time to read your testamony and forgive me for not respecting your oppinion.
I do have a few things to learn in communicating correctly on this sight!!
Forgive me

“Its all in the mind..or is it?”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#34 Jul 3, 2008
DearthOfCouth wrote:
Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part Four
Finally, struggling with my private predicament in that pew during prayer service, I knew what it was that I had to do. I came to the realization that there was only one possible course of action that seemed to offer me any degree of self-respect, and there was no other course to take, so at long last I took it. I stood and walked out.
I did not look anyone in the eye as I passed and I have no idea whether anyone registered surprise, hostility, concern, or anything at all. For all I know they all faced forward and ignored me as I turned left at the end of the aisle and made my final exit from the building. The moment I reached the open air outside I was astonished to find that I was finally, after all this time, experiencing something that was vivid and genuine and undeniable. In fact it was nearly overpowering. It crested over me like a breaker:
Relief.
From now on, I resolved that day, I will not stop and examine my innermost thoughts and evaluate, whether they are appropriately reverent and sanctimonious. I will admit my doubts and reservations and when people ask me for my thoughts I will express them respectfully but openly, as I am doing now.
If everyone around me seems confident and secure where I am irresolute and sceptical then I decline to acknowledge this as a problem, for me or for anyone else. That’s just the way it is.
Leaving the prayer meeting that day was a liberating, exhilarating, and truly life-changing experience for me. It was my “baptism” and I will never forget it.
I’m free.
If I have to account someday for the decisions I’ve made and the actions I’ve taken, then I will. But I won’t again lie to anyone that I’m feeling something or sensing something when I’m not. I won’t try to deceive anyone around me but most importantly I won’t lie to myself. Life is too short to waste it that way.
you are indeed a smart cookie

“Its all in the mind..or is it?”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#35 Jul 3, 2008
Hector wrote:
<quoted text>Well, that may be in fact true, but if you die in a car accident or some sort of brugadung in an armored personnel carrier, you're on your own because the lord is powerless against iron chariots. You'll be ok in plane crash however, because aircraft are made out of aluminum.
hahahahah, good one. See? you can find humor in the Bible.

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#36 Jul 3, 2008
Breaveheart wrote:
Deathofcouth I've never been on these topic or chat rooms before, I think I'm jumping all over the place with my opinions...
I did not take the time to read your testamony and forgive me for not respecting your oppinion.
I do have a few things to learn in communicating correctly on this sight!!
Forgive me
Breaveheart:

I didn't take the trouble to reply to you earlier because I could tell that, as you mention, you hadn't taken the time to read my (admittedly long) posts.

There are no apologies or forgiveness required, though. You don't owe me anything.

Peace.

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#37 Jul 3, 2008
RiverSpirit wrote:
Hey, DoC, I was really moved by your words. In my experience, I have always wondered what it is about Baptists that seems to make them one of the most rabidly fundie groups of people around. I know not all of them are like that; it just seems like those are the ones you hear the most about.
RiverSpirit:

My thanks.

Great showmen, those Baptists. I still love the music....

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#38 Jul 3, 2008
Cherokee wrote:
<quoted text>you are indeed a smart cookie
Cherokee:

You've called me that before, as I recall.

I wear it like a badge.

Thanks.

“but not Anti-others”

Since: Jun 08

I actually have none

#39 Jul 3, 2008
DearthOfCouth wrote:
<quoted text>
My thanks, Moncie.
"From the heart" is exactly what it is.
Hi Mr. D.,

Wow - your testimony was one I have heard many times, phrased differently but the jist is the same. Organized 'religion' has been at the heart of many people turing 'away from God' due to the hypocrisy of the 'people' attending that 'church' and 'doing what the guy in front of them is doing'.

My own experience with God was different as a child. I was baptized as an infant and then my family went to church on Christmas and Easter. I was exposed to many other doctrines as I would attend church with my friends and have been everywhere from Catholic to a Synagog. As a visitor I was always made to feel welcome so I did not experience the 'bad or scary' parts of these doctrines so I thought church was 'pretty cool' but really knew nothing of Jesus except that different churches prayed to him differently, some out loud (some really loud) and some completely silently and others quietly.

No one ever suggested that I accept Christ as my savior until I was in my early twenties and stumbled on a revival being held in an old theater in San Diego. I was drawn into the building by the music, loud old time gospel like my great-grandmother would listen to. I went in and made my way to the balcony where I sat for several hours. Finally - caught up in the moment - I made my way to the front of the theater and "gave my life to Christ". I know now that I had no idea what that really meant. The feeling was real but so is the feeling when you give birth. Feels wonderful and doesn't last forever.

The trouble began when I married a fundamentalist. A man who had memorized the Bible and then proceeded to use it to abuse me daily. He would slam it on the table and quote scripture that stated I was a whore and I was hell bound. That my physical infirmities were my punishment for my past errors and I was going to rot and suffer before I died and went to hell.(I'm going to write a book: "Questions to ask before you get married")

We had a child and then when that child was 18 months old I left one day while he was at work. He had become physically abusive and after doing jail time threatened our lives so I ran. I eventually obtained full custody. I must mention that the minister from our church counselled me many times to return to that marriage...God help him

When my child was 5, she asked me if we could go to church. I was appalled at the thought but her friends from kindergarten were going and she wanted to go too. I decided that we would go to the church from my childhood, it's between Catholic and fundamentalist and I said to myself that I would run the first time someone attempted to make me feel guilty or embarrassed or tried to push me into something.

Long story short, my child is now 15, we are both lay leaders in this church and I actually aid in counseling people who have been victims of Spiritual Abuse.

A church is no better than the people in it and many people, including some in my church, pretend because they are afraid of the ridicule if they do not. When given to opportunity to preach, I always preach about forgiveness because when I cannot forgive it keeps me sick/down. I also preach abiut being genuine in your faith, if you don't believe something say so - God has never, to my knowledge, condemed anyone for asking questions for challenging His view.(Remember Thomas) and Peter was one of the beloved but denied Him in His final hours.

A church building is nothing more than a vessel and without proper care will develop holes and rot and eventually sink if the foundation is not strong.

I hope that your walk continues to make you happy and that God blesses you in your honesty. Even if you never experience an "ah-ha" moment in Christ, He is always there for you. I believe that with all my heart.

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Gods warrior

Since: May 07

<<<<--the right to bare

#40 Jul 3, 2008
Good choice.

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