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Showing posts from June, 2011

Charismatic to Questioning

By VeroP ~ W hat an awesome site! Image via Wikipedia I was raised Church of the Brethren (COB) and was very involved. I went to church camp in the summer, was president of the youth group, helped with younger kids, sang in the choir, when to youth conference, etc. But in addition I took on some beliefs from outside of COB, namely, I became a charismatic Christian - I prayed in tongues and was filled with the holy ghost. So with this going on in life, I received a 'calling' to go to Oral Roberts University . I spent my first two years of college there and then decided that they were not practicing what they preached - so, taking my beliefs with me, I transferred closer to home to a Mennonite college. The difference was huge, but I felt a sincerity in the people I was with that had been absent at ORU. My first semester at the new school was spent in Central America and after finishing out the year at school, I joined Witness for Peace - a peace group working to s

Wiccan Dedicant

By Peter Chamberland ~ H ello, my name is Peter Kimball Chamberland, and I've rejected and continue to reject anything to do with Jesus Christ in my life whatsoever. To make things short and sweet, I was lost but found, was blind but now I see. Image via Wikipedia A brief history: I was raised in a Mormon church by loving parents who never physically abused me, but they did neglect me and physiologically abuse me by teaching me false principles and beliefs, I was going to give them the credit for being nice people and say that they never meant to do this, but in reality for various reasons I think that in all actuality they knowingly and willingly did so. After the Mormon church I became an evangelical Christian , which was like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. I was nothing but depressed my whole Christian life. I was faithfully Christian for 5 years attending evangelical Christian churches of all types sometimes even three times a week. My roommates for two year

I wanted to believe...I really, really did

By SgtReality ~ "We must question the logic of an all-knowing and all-powerful God who creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes." Gene Roddenberry I first ran across this quote about 15 years ago. The beginning of the end for Christianity in my life had begun. Ive been lurking on this website for 2 years now and after reading the testimonials of all the deconverts here, mine eyes have been opened and I can clearly see the light. Seems to me that the people on this site have more compassion and understanding than any Christian Ive ever come across. That being said, I would like to take this opportunity to come off the sidelines and share my story. I am not a great writer so please bear with me. I will do my best. Image by megaul via Flickr First, I would like to pay respects to all the posters who have shared their stories on this website. Your insights and experiences have helped me realize that I am not alone in my thinking process and I

I'm Sick of Excuses

By Rebekah ~ W hen taken as a whole, the overwhelming amount of ignorance, savagery and immorality that exudes from the dark minds of the men who have imposed these thoughts and ideas on us called scripture, and have also assigned these thoughts to have come from the creator of the universe, have caused me to reject the bible as an authority. When claiming the bible as an authority, one cannot accept the good while ignoring the bad. Even the empty threat of agonizing torment for longer than billions and trillions of years because I don’t think the same way the men who wrote the bible think, is not enough to persuade me to accept the proposed “good news” of Christianity. The promise of immortality also is not enough to persuade me to believe. It is suspicious to me that, “You will not surely die,” was the lie told to Eve by the serpent in the book of Genesis. I will gladly accept death as an end, than eternity in heaven, while most of God’s creation is in a supposed place of eter

They were Right All Along

By ApostatePaul ~ L ooking back, I don't see how I could have been any more skeptical. Image by Image Zen via Flickr I was born into a Christian family with two loving parents. Mom, the more "spiritual" of the pair, was a very emotional person and prayed constantly, while Pops, the more intellectual, was very cut and dry, burying his emotions beneath logic and knew all the apologetics. One night in church when I was 7, I finally understood what my parents and Sunday school teachers had been telling me. I needed to ask God to forgive me because I did bad things sometimes and that was the only way to be forgiven. It made sense! The praise for my decision was so encouraging, and just like that my journey began. I exceeded in AWANAs and in preteen/teen camps. At about 12, I began to make Christianity more my own, thinking about it for myself and realizing that up to this point I had not really been following Christ. The pastors and youth leaders all seemed to be

By Their Fruits Shall Ye...

By Finkelwitz ~ B uddha and Jesus are probably the two most influential spiritual leaders of all time. But if we look at the products these two have produced, they are vastly different. Image by plumandjello via Flickr Buddha 's message of peace and love, created nations that are remarkably free from war, and even freer from cruelty towards mankind. Jesus' followers are unrivaled in their violent excesses. The Crusades were a bloodbath of murder and mayhem. The inquisitions in Spain , Austria and the Netherlands, like the Crusades, had purification of the soul as their rationales, but were the exercise of bestiality and barbarism that none but the Christians themselves ever surpassed. Christianity has a history of eighteen centuries of torture and genocide, that makes even the Muslims look like pikers. Ranting and raving about combating Satan, the latter is a rank amateur compared to the unspeakable cruelty practiced on an enormous scale by Christians throughout history

Christianity: poor medicine for anxiety and depression

By John ~ T he mind is an interesting place. I de-converted from Christianity after being in the military. My eyes were opened to the rest of the world. I began to see how other people in different countries were so different. They had no concept of my reality. Then I saw other Americans that weren't Christian. This was totally new to me. I began to study and learn about the world. It was a little difficult but I dropped the religion. I liked being in control of my life and not depending on something outside of myself to make things happen. I was religion free for about 10 years. Later I went through a traumatic event. I was exposed to a chemical that was hazardous to my health for a long period of time. This chemical was a breathing hazard since it was in my body there was little I could do about it. I was a very healthy individual. This event cause me to feel out of control of my health. I develop anxiety. I didn't know it was anxiety. I just thought it was a response fro

Power (?) of Prayer

By Ken ~ O n Jun 13, 2011 a woman that I deeply adore was struck down by one of the cruelest afflictions ever. My Mom, 68 years old, suffered a massive stroke on the left side of her brain. This caused her to lose her speech, some memory, and the use of the right side of her body. I was called by my dad about an hour after the incident which occurred around 8:00 am. I found out later in the week that he had called several people from the "church" before he called his own son. This was the start of many slaps in the face throughout the week. My parents are what I term "uber-Christian" while I, obviously, am not. I do not agree with the faith they raised me in and am now an atheist. My Mom has always been a good woman and tolerated me as a child and many deeds done by my dad that a lesser woman would have walked away. While my mom is still alive she will probably never recover 100%. She will be lucky to walk, talk, or even sit up on her own. In my eyes, this i

Believing in Belief

By Monk ~ "The big trial of belief is that you must find a way to believe when you no longer believe that you CAN now believe, or ever could have believed, that it is possible to even believe in belief, let alone believe in the object of your belief." I wrote that over four years ago, the first time I tried on the atheist hat. Faith has never come easy to innate curiosity and reason rebel too strongly...but I am still trapped by christianity. I liked being an atheist...I was even a "militant" atheist "on line," but I quickly "backslid" into very " Fundamentalist " christianity (read: Church of Christ denomination) in real life with much fear and trembling, literally. The only outward signs of disbelief being not attending services for a year or so. The time wasn't right yet, apparently. I wasn't brave enough or strong enough to stand on my own. Family and friend pressure was still too great. Not only did I return t

The Questions Christians Can’t Answer

By atheistnurse ~ H ow can a god that is described as loving, merciful, righteous, good, perfect, and just order his people to do unspeakable evil like murdering infants with a sword and letting soldiers rape young girls? And, if the LORD commanded this of his followers, then I ask, when is it OK to murder infants and rape young girls? When the people are considered “evil” is it justified? I have posted these very questions on the ExChristian blog sites many times and not once has a xtian ever even attempted to answer it. How can they possibly reconcile a good god with these horrible evils? They can’t without sounding like lunatics who worship a baby killing, child raping god that they consistently label as loving and good. Throughout the OT, god kills and orders the killing of MILLIONS of people. Not just “wicked” adults but innocent babies and children and condones the raping of children. How can this be? Let’s look at a few verses: Numbers 31:17 : “Now therefore,

The Amazing Power of Faith

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ FAITH: b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust . (from the online Merriam-Webster dictionary ) R eligious faith is arguably the most powerful force available to man. With it, according to scripture, he can achieve anything, even the impossible. Faith enabled the 9/11 terrorists to believe there were several dozen virgins waiting for them in heaven. Faith enabled the Heaven’s Gate followers to believe they were highly evolved spiritually and that a space ship trailing Hale-Bopp comet was coming to spirit them away to a trans-human state. Faith enabled the Aztecs, Mayans and many other cultures to believe their human sacrifices would sustain the universe, guarantee good harvests, and/or allow them to prevail over their enemies. Faith enabled Harold Camping ’s followers to believe that May 21, 2011 would be judgment day. Jesus spoke repeatedly of the power of faith. “… blessed are those who have not seen and yet

The Idolatry of physical fitness

By Cf Surfer ~ H Hello all! This is my first post to this site. I left Christianity a long time ago and never really worked out my issues so I'm glad I found you all. I had a really bad break down a few years back. During that time an old friend looked me up. We were very good friends. We used to surf and go to church a lot. Now he's a Pastor. Image by John Carleton via Flickr So, we decided to meet up which I had bad feelings about doing but did anyway. We stayed in contact with each other on the phone for a while. I needed a lot of reassurance from anyone and everyone at the time. So I told him I'm getting a gym membership and asked him "What do you think about that?" He replied you have to be careful that you don't commit Idolatry. I never heard of that one before. But, because I was in such a fragile state it bothered me pretty bad. All I wanted to do was get healthy and make myself feel better. I think most people would have been more encouragi

Religious Trauma Syndrome: It’s Time To Recognize It (Part 1 of 3)

By Marlene Winell, Ph.D. ~  A version of this article was published in the May 2011 issue of the professional journal, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy Today in the UK. I’m really struggling and am desperate never to go back to the religion I was raised in, but I no longer want to live in fear or depression. It seems that I am walking through the jungle alone with my machete; no one to share my crazy and sometimes scary thoughts with. After years of depression, anxiety, anger, and finally a week in a psychiatric hospital a year ago, I am now trying to pick up the pieces and put them together into something that makes sense. I’m confused. My whole identity is a shredded, tangled mess. I am in utter turmoil. These comments are not unusual for people suffering with Religious Trauma Syndrome, or RTS. Religious trauma? Isn’t religion supposed to be helpful, or at least benign? In the case of fundamentalist beliefs, people expect that choosing to leave a childhood faith is lik