11/09/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Flame of the mist ~
Start of the letter: After thinking about it, I realized I needed to share with you how I came to be this way.You can share it with whomever you wish (family or friends). I do not want to argue, I just want to share. You can ask me to clarify something if you wish, but again, I'll probably not jump into an argument with you, if you start one.
Here's my letter, enjoy!
The Steps to Leaving Christianity
*Everyone's story is different. Mine is especially unusual.
1. Found out that I had schizoaffective disorder.
Cannot completely trust my senses as a result, especially in relation to scientifically unproven things. So, any supposed supernatural stuff I personally experienced is out the window, which wasn't much by the way and easily explained, for the most part.
2. Read Our Occulted History by Jim Marrs.
The first part was very convincing. The second part was hogwash. As a result, I realized Christianity and this book have the same attributes, the slight possibility of being true, but mostly unproven by science. I learned I am gullible and stood on shaky ground regardless.
3. Read The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science by Will Storr.
This helped me realize that our minds have already made themselves up based on experiences and childhood formations of thinking. It is very hard to change the mind. Even external information is filtered through our minds already decided on routes of thinking. Nothing is certain, which I kind of already knew.
I am an explorer, creative, and I like to walk in other people's shoes. Also, I am open to other cultures, ideas, etc. In connecting with my childhood self before Christianity, I realized I had sacrificed my personality and self to try to do what other people wanted me to do. I saw God that way too, always wanting me to be someone I wasn't.Christianity, "god", and people couldn't keep me in the box any longer. I broke free. The most painful part was the consequences, but I was willing to face them.
5. What began to disturb me about Christianity:
A. The concept of hell - being punished eternally for finite sins that eventually fade and heal even if they affect other people. I would rather just have the death sentence.
B. Genesis -which has multiple authors and multiple story lines. It also relies on ancient science. An example for all of this would be the two different creation stories and the "firmament"which in Hebrew was the term used for a solid covering believed at that time to be between the earth's air and the air above it. It is a very ancient and disproved belief.
C. The disconnect of Christianity from science and the future to some extent.
D.God having emotions, especially his temper tantrums.
E. God fitting so perfectly into human molds and expectations, in terms of gender, actions, emotions, portrayals, etc.
F. Jesus cursing the fig tree which resembles a toddler having a temper tantrum, to me.
G. The fact that most humans today can make better ten commandments then God supposedly can.
Example: And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.*start of plagiarized part
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. Onit you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
This above all shall ye take as my first command: Thou shalt treat living beings as they want to be treated. And the second commandment is like unto it:
In as much as be possible, thou shalt avoid afflicting pain or sorrow, which shall be unto thee mysigns of ill and evil.
Thou shalt honor and protect all of creation, for I the LORD have created it that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt have sexual relations with neither human nor beast who chooseth not freely what pleasures thou mayest offer.
Thou shalt not beat the child, but by admonition and instruction with kindness shall teach both wisdom and skill.
Thou shalt do unto members of other religions and tribes as thou dost unto thine own.
I, the LORD your God, forbid thee to own other persons be they woman, man or child; neither shall ye subject any gender nor race one to another,but shall honor my image in all.
Thou shalt not destroy the lands of thine enemies, nor poison their well, nor salt their earth, neither shalt thou cut their shade tree nor burn their vineyard, nor wantonly slaughter the beast of their field.
Thou shalt wash thy hands before eating and shalt boil the drinking water that has been defiled by man or beast.
Thou shalt ask the questions that can show thee wrong, so that through the toil of many, from generation unto generation, ye may come to discover the great I AM.
*end of plagiarized part
- Created by a human. Notice that in God's commandments it says not to commit adultery, but says absolutely nothing about raping a virgin. Also, notice the neighbor's wife is included as property, along with servants.
H. Not Pursuing a mystery because God is the answer.
I. The Propensity to treat people as projects and in boxes.
J.Always trying to change people into the ideal mold of humanity based on the Bible (evangelism,discipleship, etc. fits into this).
K. The large amounts of guilt, insecurity, and abuse that exist in Christian communities because of never measuring up to God's expectations or the communities' (which I have personally experienced).
L. Targeting children in evangelism because they are easy to teach since their minds are not fully formed. This speaks volumes to me of the lack of relevance and proof found within Christianity.
M. John 3: 1-21 - This conversation could not have happened in this way, because Aramaic does not have the nuance of the words that Greek has, and we know Jesus would have spoken Aramaic.
N. OT God commanding and himself slaughtering even infants who surely were not at fault.
O. Mark was written first, which is the shortest book among the Gospels. After Mark, each is a little longer, except John. Which only speaks to me of maybe added material as the years went by.
P. The fact that there is very little mention of Jesus outside of Christianity within the first 2 centuries after his death, and absolutely none in the 1st century when Jesus was alive.
Q. Some of the cities Joshua claimed to have defeated were no more than small villages, that, when excavated, show no signs of warfare, only slow abandonment over time.
*By the way, I know all the excuses and explanations for the above and other arguments. They are not convincing tome.
6. The Future
Although this is uncertain, all the advances being made are not being stopped by God when they have the potential to disprove at least the Biblical God by the end of the century. Also, the world is largely getting better, if you look at statistics instead of just the news (they like bad stuff). Anyway, life expectancy is up, warfare is down, health is improving, extreme poverty is going down, etc. This could change, but right now it is not showing too many signs of that.Regardless, technology continues to advance and change the world around us in mind blowing ways and contrary sometimes to end of times beliefs.
7. The Effect and my message to Christians
Contrary to what I've Been told, losing religion has not made me a terrible person. It has been a painful process, but not in a terrible way. I've gained back my confidence, getting healthier and stronger everyday in everyway. I have more understanding and compassion, more of a propensity to love, comfortable in myself,less likely to view myself as a victim, acknowledge my emotions more, have a healthier, richer, more diverse view of life and all its categories, and generally enjoy being alive more. Like a flower, I Am starting to unfold, so all of these are not in full bloom yet. I see myself wholly, accept myself wholly, and love myself wholly and not in a narcissistic way either. The emotions I used to connect only with spiritual experiences I still experience, meaning they aren't limited by religiosity.These would be emotions such as joy, euphoria, wonder, etc. All in all, the positive experience in terms of the effect on my self has made me even less likely to turn back to Christianity, where I Was frequently feeling guilty, unworthy, insecure, unhealthy relationally, a victim mindset towards the world, hated myself, obsessed over sin, etc. And, the scary part is, I knew a bunch of Christians who had problems like that. When I stepped out of Christianity, I realized that the things Christians complain about in Christian dominated countries, including the US are so petty.Christians still have favor in the US, but they don't even see it and claim to be persecuted. It is a victim mindset that needs to stop, and they need to start really listening to those who really suffer, whomever and whatever they are. I don't hate you if you are a Christian, I even understand your mindset. Just, please, stop trying to fix me, because I'm not as broken as you think. I don't have a god shaped hole in my life. I'm complete and happy.
After the above letter, I have so far heard no mention of it, but I didn't expect there to be, because I didn't want to argue. Currently, I hope to move to Detroit between April and June. I live with my grandparents out of necessity. My parents are out of the country. However, grandma and I recently had a conversation which solidified my need to leave. I Had been feeling like my family didn't know what to do with me, and that people were feeling awkward around me. This has never happened before on my mother's side of the family, and never happened permanently on my father's side. I am very much alone as an exchristian. I have one cousin that is agnostic, but he has always been that way. Anyway, my grandma has since apologized but I think I Still need to leave for my health and theirs. Basically, grandma was saying how everyone felt like I Was always throwing my being different in their faces, when I rarely talk about it and even excuse myself when I get too uncomfortable, instead of arguing about it. She understandably got upset about me reading a magazine during prayer, though I only did this once, and I did apologize for that.Then, she went on about how my parents were so wonderful (they are missionaries) and that they didn't deserve this blah blah blah... Anyway, I could see right through that, even if she didn'tmean it, she was trying to guilt trip me, I think, subconsciously. Well, needless to say, it'll be a struggle financially to survive on my own, and I won't be shy of still asking them for help, but I Just need to get out of there for practical and sanity reasons. Oh, I forgot to mention that about a week or so before this, one of my uncles and his family was visiting. He is a pastor, and one time I Think he was literally jabbing at me. He started talking about how bad the secular and LGBT etc., communities were, and how they were ruining the church. Needless to say I excused myself. Another Time he starts talking with his daughter in front of me making sure she knows absolute truth and stuff, that she knows her faith basically. Subtle hint, anyone? I've been proud of myself for not being too rude or inconsiderate most of the time, but it is getting really hard. Sigh...well I'll Check back later to update everyone about how it is going. Well, in a couple months anyway.
Filed Under: Testimonials