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Showing posts from June, 2013

Spiritual Evolution: Why I Am an Ex-Minister

By Zachary ~ A llow me to first familiarize whoever may read this with who I am. Who I am is a natural born thinker. I have thought about things all my life, a question asker. For twenty-one years now this is who I have been and I cannot foresee this ever being halted. As a child I was not influenced by anyone spiritually, however, I was allowed to process and contemplate things on my own. As a child this was a daunting task and I never strayed too far away from the cookie-cutter mold of an American boy's Heaven and Hell, Good and Bad, God and the Devil type thoughts. Entering high school, my thoughts began to change and I labeled myself as an atheist -- reflecting back, I am sure I had no idea what that really meant, as I still sought knowledge about spiritual life. I think I just wanted to escape my peers' "high school Christian" reality. My senior year of high school a man sat me down and precisely laid out the Christian Gospel, Campus Crusade style. He

Honey, I Shrunk My Faith!

By Daniel out of the Lion's Den ~  M y wife caught me medicating with cannabis… alright, she caught me smoking pot . But when you say it like that, you think of a teenager enveloped in a plume of bong smoke, eating Doritos and listening to Pink Floyd . I truly medicate to alleviate anxiety, or so I have convinced myself. Without going into the long and drawn out reasons for using this natural herb, suffice it to say that the whole situation has been the catalyst for having “The Conversation” about my deconversion with my wife. I have read several extimonials regarding the topic of revealing one’s change in belief system to a spouse, so now it’s my turn. As you can imagine, my wife (who has a Ph.D. in Psychology) was up in arms concerning my medicating. At first, she demanded that I leave our home, and she informed several people at church, including the pastor. She made stringent demands for me to follow in order to return home. But after I spent two nights at my mot

A complete waste of brain power...

By Sarah R. ~ W here do I begin? So I'm a African American woman who grew up in the church from ever since I can remember. I didn't like the days where I'm constantly getting up on Sunday mornings, getting dolled up to listen to a preacher go on and on but I couldn't say no to my mom knowing that she would beat me if I didn't listen. I had brothers and and uncles who couldn't stand listening to a preacher who does nothing but, and this is their own words, "Talk up a storm about nothing relevant, take peoples money come offering time, think that we're filled with the 'holy spirit' but isn't, and going home after church feeling like crap." Being as young I was at the time I didn't know what it meant so I ignored it. I was good kid growing up going to all public schools. High school was the hardest because it was always pressure from cliques of me wanting to fit in with them, I couldn't do because of what my church taught me

I Just Realized Christianity Makes Sense

By Apostate Paul ~ I used to think that the Christian gospel message was totally messed up. I mean, basically the gospel message starts out by saying that there is an all-powerful God that set up a divine legal system that punishes all of us created people eternally for being what we are created to be. After dropping that unsavory bomb on you, the "good" part comes in: lucky for us, there is an easy loophole out of this system. All you have to do is advocate the punishment of someone who's not even guilty, Jesus. If you just say "I accept Jesus' punishment in place of my own" you're good. Because, you know, letting someone innocent suffer in your place is the height of righteousness and virtue. At least the bad guy got what he deserves. But this morning, I realized that I had missed something. Jesus is God , right? And God created evil. So Jesus isn't really innocent, is he? And punishing Jesus for the sin of the world... well, tha

When "GOD" heals

By Rev. Ex-Evangelist ~ I hate going to the doctor. I hate hearing of friends who are having to go for testing and medical procedures. Science and research has supplied us with wonderful cures and fixes for ailments that in the recent past would have spelled the end of one's life. But for all my dislike for tests, procedures, etc. I am very glad they are there. I would have died decades ago had I not had - by today's medical knowledge - a very simple surgical procedure. At that time I was a fanatical, religious zealot who obsessively read and quoted scripture and tried to be "pleasing unto the Lord" in all my ways. I was a firm believer in "The Full Gospel" message of the charismatic movement which said that Jesus not only saves your soul but is also the healer of your body. So when I became doubled over with abdominal pain one morning, I fervently prayed for hours for "the Lord" to heal me but nothing happened. After ten hours of dro

My Journey from Dogma to Peace

By Crystal ~ O h, where to start?! Like many around me, I was brought up in a Christian upbringing. A Narcissistic Christian mother, but an Agnostic/Atheist father. Because of the abuse that I suffered at the hands of my mother who frequently spoke of love but always acted in abuse towards me, so much so that I ended up believing that God LOVES abuse, and that he hated me and agreed with everything that my mother was doing hence the commandment "Honour your father and mother". That said I also started to realize that the more I read into the Bible, the more it confused me. It contradicted itself, and research of these contradictions shocked me to the core. This is the main one which I do remember: On one side i.e. OT I saw a God that kills, causes genocide, and sends people to hell; whereas on the other i.e. NT I saw a God who is loving, kind and cares for people. (There are other contradictions that I found but since I've spent the last year trying to for

Questioning: The Sincere Search

By sincere seeker ~ I have read with great interest many postings here from ex-Christians and i am very impressed by what I read by sincere posters both Christians and ex-Christians alike. I struggle with my faith and doubt but always seem to come back to the Truth of Christ as I understand Him and other very sound books that support the Faith. I have talked to atheists that know the bible very well and in some cases even better than most Christians. I guess I don't understand how 2 people can read the same book and arrive at 2 wildly different conclusions. I also don't understand how well meaning truly sincere non arrogant non prideful Christians who truly seek the truth with all their heart leave the faith. I get that there are horrible Christians and in many cases atheists act more Christlike than Christians...but for me, after reading the bible many hundreds of times and reading what Christ had to say about this world and our human nature, He seems pretty much

Eyes Open with a Heart Full of Questions

By ebgrammar ~ T hroughout my transformation away from Christianity, more and more questions pop into my head. In rather unusual, expeditious fashion I am able to sort them out and move on in a way I was never able to experience as a Christian. I would dwell on everything for which I had no answer. Now, I find myself more excited NOT to have all of the answers than I ever have been. However, I cannot think of a better place to share my thoughts and ask my burning q's. My transformation was gradual for about two years until the final day when it smacked me in the face. I rejected that homosexuality is a sin for years, and it pushed my mother to such a limit that she informed me through tears and sobs that her heart was broken and I was going to hell. That's right, she was devastated because the consequence of not condemning my gay friends is that I too shall burn. Eek. How could something good, like 'faith', cause a mother to turn her back on her firstborn

The "Anecdote as Proof" Game

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ A while back, looking for insight into theistic thinking, I read a book titled, “ Life, God, and Other Small Topics: Conversations from Socrates in the City ” Edited by Eric Metaxas . This is a collection of speeches by eminent theists at a monthly function in New York City. The third chapter of the book consisted of a speech titled, “The Importance of Fatherhood,” by Dr. Paul Vitz , Professor of Psychology at New York University, and author of “ Faith of the Fatherless ; the Psychology of Atheism , “ and several other books. Dr. Vitz, as a professor of psychology, is supposedly a scientist, but his speech amounted to blatant emotionalism and a transparently shoddy attempt to pass off anecdote as science. Vitz’s approach was to list several famous atheist bad people such as Stalin, Pol Pot and others, and then briefly outline their life histories to demonstrate that they all lacked good fathers. You may notice that this is very similar to

Full of contradictions

By The Educated ~ I was raised into Christianity from birth. Ever since I can remember, I was going to church, forced of course, by an indoctrinating family. I even had a brief stint around age 13 in which I became enamored with the concept of god and Christianity. So why did my beliefs falter? I could say that I became more educated, but that would raise offense to many people. I began to learn of all of the insane contradictions of the Christian faith . First, it came from Judaism, but somehow Christians were able to pick and choose what to believe from the old testament . So a magical man appearing from a virgin birth suddenly throws out all of the old laws and ways of the origin of your religion? Second, biblical verses, all the way from the beginning to the end reference the followers of god as "Jews." Even in revelation, god's chosen people are Jews, so what are Christians so worried about anyway? Third, the concept of sin is completely far fetched. G

In Honor of LGBT Month - It's Only Natural

Rainbow flag (LGBT movement) LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Pride flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) By Ex-Pastor Dan ~ T he issuance of Barack Obama’s Presidential Proclamation declaring June to be the - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2013 - has caused quite a stir where I work. I suppose it should not surprise me all that much, since I work for the Department of Defense with a lot of retired military types. Their time in the Navy spanned the years that preceded the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era that has only recently been forced upon the military leadership. It also came as no surprise when all of my “Christian” co-workers got up in arms and were ranting and raving about “the special treatment and recognition that those fags are receiving!” “Why don’t we protest and make them proclaim a Heterosexual Pride Month!?” was heard rising from some cubicles. Many expressed their feelings of outrage and how America is going down a slippery slope that l

Why I'm Not A Christian Anymore

By Myra ~ I 'm not a christian anymore because of all the different religions I have come across, Christians are the most judgmental little pricks I've met. They tell people they're going to hell for being gay or not being a Christian and they JUSTIFY it by saying "In the name of God" or "this is want Jesus said" or something stupid like that. Protesters preach love and tolerance (Photo credit: The UpTake ) I mean, the people who were involved in 9/11 were Islamic, and you call everyone in their religion evil and stupid and see them ALL as Satan. That's stupid. You can bash everyone else's religion, but when someone says something about Jesus or God you flip out and swear and yell and carry on. I'm pretty sure Jesus said you should love your enemies. Also, I'm tired of these Christians shoving their religion down other people's throats. I mean, c'mon! Are you serious? Be mature. Let them believe whatever they

Times Must be Difficult for True Believers

By Carl S. ~ I t has to be difficult to raise children to be serious believers of one‘s own religion. To raise yet another generation to carry the baggage of traditional, sectarian, unresolved problems into a world which is becoming increasingly accepting of diversity and the myriad beliefs of other religions. It must be difficult to accept a “personal relationship “ with a universally available, 24/7, father god who can neither be seen nor heard, when you have a cell phone to reach real people: friends, family, lover, husband, wife, at any time, from any place on earth. It must be hard to preach or believe that gay people are immoral and worthy of punishment just for being true to their natures when you personally know gays who are friends or relatives, or other people you admire. It has to be difficult (or should be) to tell your children that there were times in history when cities were destroyed by incineration because most of their inhabitants were gay. Or that the huma

Finally Freed from the Shackles of Guilt & Doubt

By Liz ~ I n a recent life experience, where I met with a cohort from a previous and equally important year abroad, I realized that who I "am" is not who I am at all... During a weekend in the beautiful mountains of Colorado , I was thrust into a familiar, yet completely unique situation with people I have known for ten years. When we lived abroad in our teens, we were all made up of snippets of our parents & influencers, geographical upbringing, and surroundings. We weren't really "us", but we were a young, bright-eyed version of the people we were about to become. Ten years has allowed us to become teachers, openly gay, artists, extremists, professionals, adventurers, parents, and influencers. All of us entered the experience with an "I wonder what they will think when they know who I have become" mentality. I'm glad we were all worried about it, because it proved to be a prolific catalyst for my life change. For some reason, unkn

Religious Oppression, Healing, and My Journey to Self-Love

By Danae ~ S elf-love is a journey that cannot begin until you dig into your past and try to figure out just when, where and why you ever learned self-hate to begin with. It’s taken me years to learn that my own hatred of myself was not a result of my innate unworthiness, impurity or evilness . So what was it that pushed me to write desperate journal entries such as this one at the age of 17? “I feel so filthy, I’m selfish, I’m gross, I’m fat, I hate myself. I don’t do anything for others. I’m such a loser. Help me if you want to. I don’t know what else I can do.” Wow. There’s a lot to try to uncover in an entry like this. I must try to understand how a 17-year-old who didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, have sex or bully her classmates could feel so desperately sinful beyond the hope of forgiveness. And to understand it as well as possible, I have to face the fact that it was a specific brand of fundamentalist Christianity that poisoned me and pushed me to the point of suc