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Showing posts from September, 2004

How to lose your religion...

sent in by Mark


I was born in Pusan, South Korea (1979) and I was adopted by American parents when I was three years old. My American mom is the type of person that is “spiritual” but not religious. You all know the type. She believes Jesus Christ “saved” her and there is a power greater than she is, but she doesn’t adhere to any one denomination of Christianity. She still has the Protestant Christian biases she learned while growing up Seventh Day Adventist. My father is not very religious but he used to go to church with us and was raised a Catholic.

There are several phases of losing your religion: transition away from a literal interpretation of the Bible, movement toward being “spiritual” and not religious, discovery of logical and factual flaws in the Bible, becoming an apologist, deep skepticism, and finally, agnosticism or atheism.

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A different view of God

sent in by Ravnostic

My story begins with a secular childhood. My mother's family wasn't particularly religious and my dad didn't have time to waste in church, he worked 7 days to put food on the table and wasn't going to piss away 10% to a god he figured didn't need it (god's minions did, though.)

So at about 8 yrs of age we move to Arizona, in Mesa. Mesa in 1975 was nothing but a mormon community, and after a few months dad realized the only way to get by was to join the church. I was baptized at about 8 yrs old or so. Sure enough, dad did well, eventually getting the contract in his field to repair the churches. So having been established, he ceased to go. I was probably 10 or so then.
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So many choices of religion makes the whole "holier than thou" mentality of Christians absolutely arrogant

sent in by Paul

It was a fairly easy choice for me to abandon religion. I've always been an independent thinker. I would (and still) often do things that were against the grain just because they were not what others wanted me to do.

In my early childhood (up to age 7), I enjoyed being Catholic. I liked my little communion book because of the gold edges on the pages. I didn't like the list of cardinal and venial sins at the back of it. There was just too much on the list and if I did any of those things, I certainly wouldn’t want to tell a priest. As for home life, my parents seemed to like each other. They were separated in 1983, but got back together shortly after that. I never liked my parents anyway. They were too mean. I just wanted to do my own thing. I wasn’t much trouble unless I was being told not to do something for a reason that was illogical to me. I loved my grandmother, though. She was, to me, an angel. The nicest person in my world - she …

Christian upbringing's the name, indoctrination's the game

sent in by Simon

If we all get new resurrection bodies when we die as the bible states, why was the tomb empty? What need would the resurrected Jesus have had for his original body?

Oh, where to start? I was taken along to church by my parents. They did what they thought was right. To be honest, apart from the hypocrital, cliquey, gossipy, closed-minded, hermetic, blinkered, black-and-white, headlong, unquestioning, cultish nature of my church, it was OK. It taught me to 'care about poor people', though many church members (especially ones my age and younger) seemingly couldn't care less. So it wasn't all bad in fairness.


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I just could not believe anymore lies

sent in by South2003M

It all started when I was 19. I had just came back from basic training with the Army. I started college (Hunter College, NY) in the Spring of 1987. There, I met my college boyfriend who had another friend. We loved weight lifting and competing in the Body Beautiful club. Suddenly, this friend started changing. He was withdrawn, very emotionless about the sport. He took us to his house one day along with a few others to meet him "preacher" father who led us thru the "sinners prayer". Do I need to go further. I just created my hell if there is one! Anyway, off we go to church. My then boyfriend broke up with me because he was led by god to date this other chick who herself got "saved" We all went to church together.

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Time to Say Yes to Life

It’s been over twenty years since my fervent faith collapsed, and almost fifteen since I stopped going to church altogether. I used to think I could never go on without believing in Christ as my savior. Rarely, I miss it, but I realize it’s the social or emotional trappings-- Christmas carols on an icy night, incense breathed at mass, or tradition and the pull of ideals. I know from reading posts on this website that many people who drop Christianity feel adrift and anxious. From my middle-aged perspective, I haven’t looked back or regretted leaving. I’d make the same decision again and know it was the right one. Christianity was costing me my chance for a human life. The god it represented was unjust. It didn’t live up to what it promised. As a system, it couldn’t be true.

As a young child I was sent to Presbyterian Sunday School by parents who were also into Westernized, Hinduistic practices and ideas like vedantic yoga and reincarnation. I was attracted to God and spiri…

A Good Christian University

My name is Amber and I am pursuing a Master's Degree at a nearby Christian university. When I enrolled as an undergraduate to obtain my Bachelor's Degree, I was a Christian, and happy with my choice. I knew how hypocritical people can be, being a hypocrite myself. I sat in church many times the morning after smoking funny stuff. When I stood up to sing a hymn, my bottom would hurt from having no-no sex. I felt bad for my sins, but knew that God would forgive me. He forgives everything -- so we stay in the shame trap.

I began doubting the Christian religion when I took a course the university required - Christian Biblical Study. I was forced to study the book which held my salvation and my life plan (but like many Christians, read, didn't question, so did not really understand). The teacher of this class was a pastor, and was extremely nice and a smart man. (Not all Christians are bad people, some actually follow the rules and are good people because of them - interp…

Out of the clear blue sky

sent in by clearview

The crystal sky with perfectly puffed clouds refused to speak as I lay on the floor with the rest of my classmates, gazing out the 2nd story windows. In my 11th year (12th If you count kindergarten,) of plaid skirts and nuns, I was suddenly struck by the absence of god.

Our religion teacher had not long since exposed the horrors Christianity had imposed on mankind, and the pagan origins she taught us of the candlesticks, garb, and hoopla that went along with the Catholic faith were still fresh in my mind as I gazed at no god-evidence, but rather the glory of science and pure nature. I cannot help but wonder if our teacher had not presented these things to us in such a way before sending us to muse on the floor in order to expose the folly of our beliefs. Regardless, this moment was my undoing.

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In Memory of Brian

When I was in high school I went to Immanuel Mission Church in Hollywood, FL. In my youth group was a boy named Brian Kang. Brian was not popular with the adults; he was usually in trouble, and the kids teased him for his nonconformity. In my leadership position I could see Brian reach out for the love and sanity that Christ supposedly offered, and heard the pastor tell him it wasn't his until he stopped sinning.

I saw Brian deal with his extremely difficult life, made more difficult by the lack of support and constant condemnation he received from the "family" that supposedly cared. Their best solution was to chastise Brian, cast out his demons, and "pray" for him. I never saw anyone share genuine care for him in my time at that church. When I think back I see how obvious it was then what the outcome would be.

I learned just yesterday that Brian killed himself.

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My Story of Becoming a Person

sent in by inini

My story might be a little long, but I thank WebMaster Dave for allowing me to tell it, and I thank those of you who might read it. I have been reading this website for many months and have gained some peace of mind that there are many people like me who are living without the faith (that’s “crutch”) we have depended on for so long.

I believed it hook, line and sinker until I was 48 years old. Before that, I began to question the validity of religion when a friend of mine, a Protestant minister, introduced me to the concept that women are due the same respect as men. Of course, most of the Bible doesn’t make any sense in this regard, so I started to substitute the language of faith with more inclusive terms, just to myself. Things like saying “kindom” instead of “kingdom” and “god” instead of “father.” It bothered me that so few other people in my mainline Protestant community would dare to admit out loud that the world of patriarchal religion was unfair …

America’s Protestant majority is fading, University of Chicago research shows

The increasing secularization of American society has taken a particular toll on Protestant identity, presenting the prospect that after more than 200 years of history, the United States may soon no longer be a majority Protestant country, according to a new study by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

The percentage of the population that is Protestant has been falling and will likely fall below 50 percent by mid-decade and may be there already, the research reported.

From 1972 until 1993 the Protestant share of the population remained stable. But then a decline set in. In 1993, 63 percent of Americans were Protestant, but by 2002, the number was 52 percent, NORC research found. During the same time, the number of people who said they had no religion went up from 9 percent to nearly 14 percent.

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Guilt

I found this site by chance which was amazing because only yesterday I was beginning to feel frustrated and hopeless that I could ever shake the guilt and pain from 6 years of Catholic school, Church, and a strict Irish-Catholic father. I believe everyone's entitled to their own beliefs, but, at 19, I've decided that the Catholic beliefs aren't for me anymore. I think of religion as a personal truth, not a universal truth (as many Christians believe it is), and for me it contradicts a lot of other personal beliefs I have about life. I find it difficult to shake the guilt sometimes, especially since I began having panic attacks - and the irrational, guilty Catholic voice within tries to make me feel as if it is some sort of divine punishment or whatever. I was raised to believe that God only punished bad people, and yet I've been dealing with crap since I was too young too remember. My father thinks everyone's a sinner, so I guess it doesn't make a difference wh…

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