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If you are an "Ex-Christian," may I ask why?


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I post this with reservations. :glare: (As in, where's it gonna go?)

 

But, I'm still curious. Sometimes on this board I see signatures that say something like "ex-Christian" or "former Christian," and I really, sincerely wonder what happened?

 

If you would be able to share that part of your journey, it would help me to understand.

 

Thanks.

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I post this with reservations. :glare: (As in, where's it gonna go?)

 

But, I'm still curious. Sometimes on this board I see signatures that say something like "ex-Christian" or "former Christian," and I really, sincerely wonder what happened?

 

If you would be able to share that part of your journey, it would help me to understand.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Sorry. I've seen too many of these threads and their results to take the bait and play.

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I post this with reservations. :glare: (As in, where's it gonna go?)

 

But, I'm still curious. Sometimes on this board I see signatures that say something like "ex-Christian" or "former Christian," and I really, sincerely wonder what happened?

 

If you would be able to share that part of your journey, it would help me to understand.

 

Thanks.

You may want to do a search on the board for like threads.

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I stopped accepting the typical 'answers' to the questions that I had as being actual answers. I realized I don't need any religion, so I didn't have the same need for those 'answers' to suffice. It was really a gradual thing for me, but at the same time I had a rather sudden 'Oh wow, it's all bunk' moment of realization that was the result of the gradual process. I couldn't stop asking certain questions, and I stopped trying to ignore those questions and gave myself permission to ask them.

That's as much as I am willing to say, I think. I have absolutely no desire to debate my thought processes and reasons for not believing with anyone. My reasons are my own, and it is all way too personal to have some one else pick it apart/insult/say how WRONG I am/etc. I'm not saying that would definitely happen here, but just stating up front that I have reservations about discussing this topic.

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Last night I was just thinking this or really thinking why does one have it in their signiature. I wonder if it is a way to declare their position against a certain religion or not. I also wondered if this a way of inviting others to ask about why they choose or what led to the path that they are on. I am a former Christian and have been a Muslim for over a decade. I think it is mostly about one finding, accepting and submitting to you what believe is the truth and living one's life so that it is fufilling to you.....just some of my thoughts, sorry if it is a little long winded.

 

Peace be with you.

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Last night I was just thinking this or really thinking why does one have it in their signiature. I wonder if it is a way to declare their position against a certain religion or not. I also wondered if this a way of inviting others to ask about why they choose or what led to the path that they are on. I am a former Christian and have been a Muslim for over a decade. I think it is mostly about one finding, accepting and submitting to you what believe is the truth and living one's life so that it is fufilling to you.....just some of my thoughts, sorry if it is a little long winded.

 

Peace be with you.

 

And also with you.

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Sorry. I've seen too many of these threads and their results to take the bait and play.

 

Audrey, I don't mean it as "bait."

 

I'll try to explain. Every now and then, I think of a couple who used to be married. I was a kid then, but they had me in their wedding. They had three children, and I was sometimes their babysitter. Years went by and we lost touch, but I would hear people mention them, always as a pair: __________ and ___________. They were a match.

 

When I met my own husband, he was a lot like that other husband (happy-go-lucky and round :D), while I was a lot like that other wife (serious and round :glare:). He had no college, I had a grad degree -- same with them. He had a debt, I had savings -- same with them. He hadn't been a Christian long, I had been "born at church" -- same with them. I remember thinking, "Hey, _________ and ________ have been together for 25 years. If they could do it, we can do it.

 

One day, out of the blue, my sister said, "Oh, by the way, ________ and ________ got divorced." :001_huh:

 

Now he is remarried, and she is one of the walking wounded. I have NO idea WHY it happened. Zero clue. I have a mutual friend who does know, but she will not say, because it's "not her story to tell." I have yet to work up the courage to call my old friend and say, "Hi. I know we've been out of touch for, oh, 20 years, but... what happened with you and ________?" I mean, how would I actually do that?

 

So, instead, I wonder what happened. And that, perhaps, is worse than knowing. What if he just stopped loving her? Then I think, That could happen to me. And it goes on and on.... I worry. I tell my own husband, "You'll leave me twenty years from now, just like it happened to __________ and ________." He says no, of course, but I wonder....

 

With people who identify themselves as "ex-Christians" I feel the same way. Not in a gossipy, "Did you hear what happened to ______?" way... It's more like a recognition that, while on the surface of things it might have looked okay, there was something deeper happening in the heart.

 

And do you really think that, because I am still a Christian, I don't have my own serious questions? Do you honestly think that you can tell me why I am asking? I'm not baiting anybody, but your presumption makes me angry.

 

I don't know. I'm sorry, Audrey. I enjoy what you post, mostly, and you are a witch. I had no idea you were ever anything else.

 

I suppose a part of me wonders about the movements inside a person's heart. Why do we move towards or away? From a person, a partner, a career, homeschooling, a way of life, a faith?

 

And why can people post all sorts of things on here lately about EO and RC and ABC and 123, and I'm not supposed to ask this?

Edited by Sahamamama
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Huh... you know, on facebook, I do post my religious status. (Agnostic)

 

My life looks very much like a Christian's life does... and a couple times I've had people appear not only surprised that I do not belong to their faith, but even a little bit betrayed. Like I was hiding something. Or pretending to be something I'm not. :confused:

 

So, I post it, just to be clear and upfront.

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I never bought into it. NEVER. Even as a kid I the one who annoyed the sunday school teachers because I asked the obvious questions that no one else seemed to ask. Their answers were too simplistic. Such as....dinosaurs and people co-existed, but dinosaurs were vegetarians back then. :glare: <---and no, I don't wish to debate this.

 

I "asked Jesus into my heart" so many times that I lost count. Every single time I felt nothing and it accomplished nothing. I always hated reading the bible. It's boring. Going to church was just as boring. So was singin all of those songs. Boring.

 

On the 'not going to church thread' (can't remember title) some poster talked about how "if someone thinks going to church is boring, reading the bible is boring and worshipping god is boring then they aren't a christian, whether they call themselves one or not". Well, there ya go.

 

After awhile I just stopped pretending and this whole other world opened up for me. A world in which I no longer had to pretend. My aunt got onto me for not going to church after I got married. "I told her, "I feel nothing. I do not believe in this. It's not me." She said,"You go because you have faith." I thought, "No, YOU go because YOU have faith."

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I don't think Audrey meant that you specifically were baiting her to get a riot started, but that such questions are a type of 'bait', either you 'bite' and answer or you don't- and if you decide to answer then your answer is open to being picked apart and it can feel like a slaughter. But IDK for sure. ;)

 

I think that those who aren't christian are more likely to be weary of such questions, especially in a setting where they/we have been on the receiving end of nastiness in the past. It's nothing personal against you at all.

 

As for the rest of your post, *I* wouldn't think of calling someone just to ask why they are now divorced from their previous spouse. Things happen, people change.

Are you 'afraid' of losing your faith?

Do you feel that it is some horrific thing that could happen to you? Do you feel 'sorry' for those of us who are no longer christian? If your answer to those questions is 'yes' or 'yes, but' or some other variation of yes then perhaps you can understand why your OP could be seen as 'bait' for us, whether baiting us was your intention or not. :grouphug:

 

 

Aubrey, I don't mean it as "bait."

 

I'll try to explain. Every now and then, I think of a couple who used to be married. I was a kid then, but they had me in their wedding. They had three children, and I was sometimes their babysitter. Years went by and we lost touch, but I would hear people mention them, always as a pair: __________ and ___________. They were a match.

 

When I met my own husband, he was a lot like that other husband (happy-go-lucky and round :D), while I was a lot like that other wife (serious and round :glare:). He had no college, I had a grad degree -- same with them. He had a debt, I had savings -- same with them. He hadn't been a Christian long, I had been "born at church" -- same with them. I remember thinking, "Hey, _________ and ________ have been together for 25 years. If they could do it, we can do it.

 

One day, out of the blue, my sister said, "Oh, by the way, ________ and ________ got divorced." :001_huh:

 

Now he is remarried, and she is one of the walking wounded. I have NO idea WHY it happened. Zero clue. I have a mutual friend who does know, but she will not say, because it's "not her story to tell." I have yet to work up the courage to call my old friend and say, "Hi. I know we've been out of touch for, oh, 20 years, but... what happened with you and ________?" I mean, how would I actually do that?

 

So, instead, I wonder what happened. And that, perhaps, is worse than knowing. What if he just stopped loving her? Then I think, That could happen to me. And it goes on and on.... I worry. I tell my own husband, "You'll leave me twenty years from now, just like it happened to __________ and ________." He says no, of course, but I wonder....

 

With people who identify themselves as "ex-Christians" I feel the same way. Not in a gossipy, "Did you hear what happened to ______?" way... It's more like a recognition that, while on the surface of things it might have looked okay, there was something deeper happening in the heart.

 

And do you really think that, because I am still a Christian, I don't have my own serious questions? Do you honestly think that you can tell me why I am asking? I'm not baiting anybody, but your presumption makes me angry.

 

I don't know. I'm sorry, Aubrey. I enjoy what you post, mostly, and you are a witch. I had no idea you were ever anything else.

 

I suppose a part of me wonders about the movements inside a person's heart. Why do we move towards or away? From a person, a partner, a career, homeschooling, a way of life, a faith?

 

And why can people post all sorts of things on here lately about EO and RC and ABC and 123, and I'm not supposed to ask this?

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I've got to agree here. I think many "ex-Christians" have arrived at that point perhaps in part because of the hurtful, judgemental, dishonorable actions of Christians in their lives. At least for those ex Christians I know personally, this has been the case. Because of that, their skin may be a bit sensitive to the question especially in a heavily Christian forum such as this.

 

Not sure, just my guess.

 

 

Peace,

astrid

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With people who identify themselves as "ex-Christians" I feel the same way. Not in a gossipy, "Did you hear what happened to ______?" way... It's more like a recognition that, while on the surface of things it might have looked okay, there was something deeper happening in the heart.

 

I suppose a part of me wonders about the movements inside a person's heart. Why do we move towards or away? From a person, a partner, a career, homeschooling, a way of life, a faith?

 

 

 

I just wanted to say that I have always wondered about this too.

I was always taught ... well, basically that it is impossible for one to stop being a Christian. I remember the phrase "once saved, always saved" as a kid. I always believed that once you were "God' child" you didn't have the power, even if you wanted to, to stop being His.

 

So I've been really surprised in the past few years (mostly through the Internet) to read of people who "had born-again experiences" and went around knocking on doors and witnessing to others, and were even planning to be a missionary ....

 

And now they are atheists.

 

To be perfectly honest, it alarmed me, because it proved that "becoming a Christian" isn't as air-tight as I'd always been taught.

 

And I, too, have wondered what that sort of journey would be like for someone.

 

I just read a blog post about that recently ... by someone who was discussed here for poking fun at "Pie Near Woman." And she said some kinda ugly things about this forum and SWB too. Ugh, don't have the link or know her name.

 

But she wrote a couple posts about how she was a Christian -- used to spend the summers on the beach witnessing to people! -- and now she's an atheist, and much happier.

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I don't think of myself as ex-Christian, but I guess I am. I was brought up Anglican, but at about age 8, perhaps as late as 9, I realized that I didn't believe any of it. None. It was nothing more than role-playing for me, so I told my parents I didn't want to go to church anymore because it would be hypocritical for me to do so. Those are very close to my exact words.

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I was never Christian. I went to church-many different ones. I've read the Bible, old and new Testaments, and the Book of Mormon. And probably others along the way. None of it worked for me. After a while, I felt like a liar. Pretending to believe. Trying to find something in the sermons that spoke to me. But it wasn't there.

I was raised Deist with the instruction to find my own way.

I am Buddhist. I have always leaned in that direction. It has always been a big influence in my life. When I read about Buddha's teaching, they were things I already believed. I didn't become Buddhist. I just didn't know I was.

 

In my religion, we are taught not only to tolerate other beliefs, but that all are equally valid and any belief system can get you where you want to go (we call it Nirvana, but use whatever word you like). Christianity doesn't work that way. It's the "right" way or the wrong way. My way is wrong. You can call yourself tolerant, and not openly criticize my belief, but there is really no way that you can be both christian and accepting of other beliefs. It just doesn't work that way. So, yeah. Lots of hurtful things are said, without meaning to be hurtful.

Edited by strawberrymama
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Are you 'afraid' of losing your faith?

 

No, because I can have a relationship with God in the context of honest questions about life, people, the human heart, the Bible, the church, and even God himself.

 

Do you feel that it is some horrific thing that could happen to you?

 

No.

 

Do you feel 'sorry' for those of us who are no longer christian?

 

No, but I do feel a loss. As a Christian I believe that other Christians are part of Christ's "body." When I hear or read about someone saying "I'm done with that," I think, "Jesus must just look around and wonder where all his body parts went."

 

Yes, it does feel like a loss of fellowship to me, even if I never met you.

If your answer to those questions is 'yes' or 'yes, but' or some other variation of yes then perhaps you can understand why your OP could be seen as 'bait' for us, whether baiting us was your intention or not. :grouphug:

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I just wanted to say that I have always wondered about this too.

I was always taught ... well, basically that it is impossible for one to stop being a Christian. I remember the phrase "once saved, always saved" as a kid. I always believed that once you were "God' child" you didn't have the power, even if you wanted to, to stop being His.

 

So I've been really surprised in the past few years (mostly through the Internet) to read of people who "had born-again experiences" and went around knocking on doors and witnessing to others, and were even planning to be a missionary ....

 

And now they are atheists.

 

To be perfectly honest, it alarmed me, because it proved that "becoming a Christian" isn't as air-tight as I'd always been taught.

 

And I, too, have wondered what that sort of journey would be like for someone.

 

I just read a blog post about that recently ... by someone who was discussed here for poking fun at "Pie Near Woman." And she said some kinda ugly things about this forum and SWB too. Ugh, don't have the link or know her name.

 

But she wrote a couple posts about how she was a Christian -- used to spend the summers on the beach witnessing to people! -- and now she's an atheist, and much happier.

 

I was always taught that, too "that you don't lose your salvation" and once a xian, always one.

 

For me (and I speak for no one else here) I always hoped that THIS TIME when I say the sinner's prayer or THIS TIME that I pray again to god asking for belief, for faith, for anything resembling anything other than 'nothing' that it would come true.

 

I got tired of wishing. And now I'm HAPPY because I no longer wait around with false hope wishing my life away.

 

And, to be honest, I saw so much deception, so much "well, I have to give more and god will bless me" and so many people singing "Jesus loves the little children....red and yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight" then telling racist jokes. It sickened me and made me angry and they thought it was okay. It still does. (Yes, I do realize that newer version of xianity is all about being 'relevent' and all, but traditional xianity was far from this newer, more socially conscious church.)

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I just wanted to say that I have always wondered about this too.

I was always taught ... well, basically that it is impossible for one to stop being a Christian. I remember the phrase "once saved, always saved" as a kid. I always believed that once you were "God' child" you didn't have the power, even if you wanted to, to stop being His.

 

So I've been really surprised in the past few years (mostly through the Internet) to read of people who "had born-again experiences" and went around knocking on doors and witnessing to others, and were even planning to be a missionary ....

 

And now they are atheists.

 

To be perfectly honest, it alarmed me, because it proved that "becoming a Christian" isn't as air-tight as I'd always been taught.

 

And I, too, have wondered what that sort of journey would be like for someone.

 

I just read a blog post about that recently ... by someone who was discussed here for poking fun at "Pie Near Woman." And she said some kinda ugly things about this forum and SWB too. Ugh, don't have the link or know her name.

 

But she wrote a couple posts about how she was a Christian -- used to spend the summers on the beach witnessing to people! -- and now she's an atheist, and much happier.

There are lots of blogs and youtube videos of atheists telling their deconversion stories. Really, the journey is different for everyone. It can be quite traumatic for some people, especially those who don't really believe a god exists but have had the fear of hell and torment ingrained in them from the time they were born. And then when they mention that they still experience moments of fear of eternal torture then christians will jump on that and say "SEE! I KNEW you still believed in god, that is just god warning you to come back to him" or other such nonsense. They need to 'know' that atheists don't really exist (yes, some people believe there's no such thing as an atheist) for some reason (that's how they protect their faith? IDK). Or they love to say, 'Well, then you weren't REALLY a christian to begin with so you didn't become an atheist you just admitted that you are one.

 

People aren't accepting of us or our stories, we are villified among christians (not ALL, but among LOTS) and they will bend over backwards to try to invalidate our experiences or our stories while screaming at us that they KNOW god is real and they can PROVE it because when they were upset about something it started raining (or any of millions of other 'personal experiences of god' stories). It's bizarre, it can be frightening. People lose their jobs when their coworkers or employers find out that they're an atheist. Parents disown their children if their children 'come out' as atheists. It's tragic.

 

I suggest that those who want to hear those stories google them and hear from those who offer them.

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There are lots of blogs and youtube videos of atheists telling their deconversion stories. Really, the journey is different for everyone. It can be quite traumatic for some people, especially those who don't really believe a god exists but have had the fear of hell and torment ingrained in them from the time they were born. And then when they mention that they still experience moments of fear of eternal torture then christians will jump on that and say "SEE! I KNEW you still believed in god, that is just god warning you to come back to him" or other such nonsense. They need to 'know' that atheists don't really exist (yes, some people believe there's no such thing as an atheist) for some reason (that's how they protect their faith? IDK). Or they love to say, 'Well, then you weren't REALLY a christian to begin with so you didn't become an atheist you just admitted that you are one.

 

People aren't accepting of us or our stories, we are villified among christians (not ALL, but among LOTS) and they will bend over backwards to try to invalidate our experiences or our stories while screaming at us that they KNOW god is real and they can PROVE it because when they were upset about something it started raining (or any of millions of other 'personal experiences of god' stories). It's bizarre, it can be frightening. People lose their jobs when their coworkers or employers find out that they're an atheist. Parents disown their children if their children 'come out' as atheists. It's tragic.

 

I suggest that those who want to hear those stories google them and hear from those who offer them.

 

Thank you for this. I would not have thought to do this. I just always come here when I have a question. :D

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I still believe in God, but I really don't like to identify as a christian anymore...and I'm ready to walk away from the church. The discussion has to happen with dh, but I don't think he'll have a problem with it.

I'm just tired of the hypocrisy and faux-fellowship. If someone wants to truly get spiritual, I'm open, but I'm done with the very 'highschoolness' of the church. :(

Has anyone read the book 'Pagan Christianity'? or 'Mere Churchianity'?

These books mirror my feelings at the moment.

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Thank you for this. I would not have thought to do this. I just always come here when I have a question. :D

You are very welcome. I will caution you though, that many who 'come out' are very angry at first and use 'offensive' language at time. Then there are many who don't. I suspect that lots of them are experiencing a feeling of freedom for the first time, they can say swear words without feeling guilty for offending a god.

Lots of people have a lot of built up anger, frustration, and other VERY big feelings to work out when they realize there is no god. they are angry that they wasted so much time and money, they are angry that their loved ones have been duped and are still wasting their time and money, they are angry about how they are being treated and about how religion is being 'pushed down their throat' all the time.

 

Please don't think that because those people say some nasty things that they are nasty people. It's a lot to work through, it can be a long process for some. And yes, some are nasty people (just as there are nasty christians, nasty muslims, etc.)

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I still believe in God, but I really don't like to identify as a christian anymore...and I'm ready to walk away from the church.

 

For me, this is a huge part of the disconnect. When people start saying spirituality=religion=church, my eyes glaze over.

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I have noticed that people assume that if you do not believe, it's because you are ignorant. I have had soooo many people tell me that if I just read the bible, go to church, pray for whatever, etc, then I will have to believe. I have done all that. I didn't just stumble into my faith. It was a long journey to get here.

Perhaps those who have these siggies are asserting their knowledge and rejection so as to prevent the assumption that they just don't know any better.

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For me, this is a huge part of the disconnect. When people start saying spirituality=religion=church, my eyes glaze over.

 

 

And in a moment of naivete (that lasted for years) I thought, "if the church realized how much people feel PUSHED AWAY from the religion by that very entity (the CHURCH), maybe they would change". I no longer think that. It serves it's purpose, I guess for the people who enjoy it. The people who don't can leave and be judged by those who stay. :001_huh:

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I have noticed that people assume that if you do not believe, it's because you are ignorant. I have had soooo many people tell me that if I just read the bible, go to church, pray for whatever, etc, then I will have to believe. I have done all that. I didn't just stumble into my faith. It was a long journey to get here.

Perhaps those who have these siggies are asserting their knowledge and rejection so as to prevent the assumption that they just don't know any better.

 

Yes. This.

 

astrid

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I have noticed that people assume that if you do not believe, it's because you are ignorant. I have had soooo many people tell me that if I just read the bible, go to church, pray for whatever, etc, then I will have to believe.

 

Yes. My younger, newly Christian brother told me if I would just read the book More Than a Carpenter, I'd just have to believe. He was a bit surprised when I told him I'd read it about ten years earlier. ;)

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I am not an ex-christian, but I am an ex-churchgoer. I am not opposed to attending church again, but I am opposed to attending a church that I feel is full of phonies, doesn't accept my choices or allows things to go on that I disagree with. Knowing there isn't a perfect church I can't say if I will ever be a regular attender. I may be a visitor at times to different churches, but I have no plans for membership anytime soon.

 

Currently we attend a Bible Study each weekend. There is a group of families and we rotate meeting at each other's homes. I'd like to say we are like minded, but other than all claiming christianity we aren't all that like minded as a group. I like most of the attenders and I like the man who leads the teaching, but we don't have worship or structured activity for the kids.

 

I miss some things about church, but not enough to tolerate the things I can't stand.

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Yes. My younger, newly Christian brother told me if I would just read the book More Than a Carpenter, I'd just have to believe. He was a bit surprised when I told him I'd read it about ten years earlier. ;)

 

 

I've had similar conversations and if you say that you've already read it the response is "well, you didn't read it with right spirit" or "you read it while deceived" or "you should have asked god for guidance". Which one?

 

The other assumption that I hate is that all morality and truth is centered in xianity. Actually, it is not. When my brother was a teenager he planned on being a preacher and I planned on going on mission trips with YWAM. (Youth With A Mission) Then I realized that I only wanted to travel and help people and I would NOT feel right trying to convert people to ANY religion. (I just think is is fundamentally WRONG.) So, I could not travel with that organization. I could not deceive them in that way or any other way. If I was not okay with abiding by their guidelines then I could not go.

 

And yet the assumption is that xians have cornered the market on morality and ethics. :glare:

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Doubts and disappearing faith. I was alone in my faith, not connected to anyone at church. DH not Christian. Kids lost interest. My prayers were totally unanswered and I had a lady tell me that God chooses to not answer people for their own good. I decided if there really was a God and he treated me that way, he couldn't possibly really love me. And no, I wasn't asking for anything tangible or selfish but for hope and guidance. I realized it was sort of a dream I was hanging onto and growth could only happen if I moved on. I do envy people of strong faith, any faith. I just don't have it.

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Audrey, I don't mean it as "bait."

 

I'll try to explain. Every now and then, I think of a couple who used to be married. I was a kid then, but they had me in their wedding. They had three children, and I was sometimes their babysitter. Years went by and we lost touch, but I would hear people mention them, always as a pair: __________ and ___________. They were a match.

 

When I met my own husband, he was a lot like that other husband (happy-go-lucky and round :D), while I was a lot like that other wife (serious and round :glare:). He had no college, I had a grad degree -- same with them. He had a debt, I had savings -- same with them. He hadn't been a Christian long, I had been "born at church" -- same with them. I remember thinking, "Hey, _________ and ________ have been together for 25 years. If they could do it, we can do it.

 

One day, out of the blue, my sister said, "Oh, by the way, ________ and ________ got divorced." :001_huh:

 

Now he is remarried, and she is one of the walking wounded. I have NO idea WHY it happened. Zero clue. I have a mutual friend who does know, but she will not say, because it's "not her story to tell." I have yet to work up the courage to call my old friend and say, "Hi. I know we've been out of touch for, oh, 20 years, but... what happened with you and ________?" I mean, how would I actually do that?

 

So, instead, I wonder what happened. And that, perhaps, is worse than knowing. What if he just stopped loving her? Then I think, That could happen to me. And it goes on and on.... I worry. I tell my own husband, "You'll leave me twenty years from now, just like it happened to __________ and ________." He says no, of course, but I wonder....

 

With people who identify themselves as "ex-Christians" I feel the same way. Not in a gossipy, "Did you hear what happened to ______?" way... It's more like a recognition that, while on the surface of things it might have looked okay, there was something deeper happening in the heart.

 

And do you really think that, because I am still a Christian, I don't have my own serious questions? Do you honestly think that you can tell me why I am asking? I'm not baiting anybody, but your presumption makes me angry.

 

I don't know. I'm sorry, Audrey. I enjoy what you post, mostly, and you are a witch. I had no idea you were ever anything else.

 

I suppose a part of me wonders about the movements inside a person's heart. Why do we move towards or away? From a person, a partner, a career, homeschooling, a way of life, a faith?

 

And why can people post all sorts of things on here lately about EO and RC and ABC and 123, and I'm not supposed to ask this?

 

 

I'll clarify then... YOU may not be baiting (and I didn't think you were, necessarily), but others will take posts from this thread and use them to argue, chastise, proselytize, and aggravate a poster ad nauseum, even when you, the OP, had perfectly honest intentions for that NOT to happen. Whenever this type of topic comes up, that is what inevitably happens. If you search for similar threads, you will undoubtably see the ugliness to which I am referring.

 

People can post about "EO and RC and ABC and 123" because most of the people on here are of some christian sect or another. It's not that you're not supposed to ask this, but considering how these threads tend to go on this forum, I don't think you should be surprised at the number of people who don't really want to discuss this subject on this particular forum.

 

FWIW (and I think I've posted this before), I was raised Methodist. I didn't become a witch until my early 20's. The journey from A to B is long and winding and not something I'd lay out for attack on this forum. If you are interested in sincere dialogue, that's a PM kind of topic AFAIC. ;)

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So, instead, I wonder what happened. And that, perhaps, is worse than knowing. What if he just stopped loving her? Then I think, That could happen to me. And it goes on and on.... I worry. I tell my own husband, "You'll leave me twenty years from now, just like it happened to __________ and ________." He says no, of course, but I wonder....

 

With people who identify themselves as "ex-Christians" I feel the same way. Not in a gossipy, "Did you hear what happened to ______?" way... It's more like a recognition that, while on the surface of things it might have looked okay, there was something deeper happening in the heart.

 

First of all, I cannot imagine telling my husband that he'll leave me eventually because it happened to some other couple. You are not the other couple, however much you might have in common. Why have a negative outlook for your own marriage, just because the other surprised you?

 

Secondly, nearly everybody has more going on deeper in the heart than what everyone else sees. I am not an "ex-Christian," but I did demote myself to "Deist" for a few years. But it's not as though I bought a bumper sticker and started telling that to everyone. For one thing, I have seen enough to know that there is serious, long-lasting backlash to leaving Christianity. I did not want my kids to be ostracized by friends for example. I kept my faith struggles almost entirely to myself. I am now back to calling myself a Christian, but I know a fair few Christians who, if they grilled me on "what do you believe," would still say I am not a Christian; I doubt too many important things.

 

I was a member on a forum during those few years, a forum dedicated to people who have left Christianity. Reading deconversion stories was eye-opening. Some of the members were extraordinarily knowledgeable about the faith, far more than your typical church member. A running joke we had was this: "What do you call someone who has read the entire Bible? An atheist!" :tongue_smilie: A pretty high number of exChristians have keen intellects and it's just not enough to chalk questions up to "mysteries of the faith."

 

There are reasons why I came back to Christianity after my hiatus in Deism, but compelling answers to my questions was not one of them.

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I have noticed that people assume that if you do not believe, it's because you are ignorant. I have had soooo many people tell me that if I just read the bible, go to church, pray for whatever, etc, then I will have to believe. I have done all that. I didn't just stumble into my faith. It was a long journey to get here.

Perhaps those who have these siggies are asserting their knowledge and rejection so as to prevent the assumption that they just don't know any better.

 

This would be my guess.

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And do you really think that, because I am still a Christian, I don't have my own serious questions? Do you honestly think that you can tell me why I am asking? I'm not baiting anybody, but your presumption makes me angry.

 

 

There are a few reasons I mightn't want to answer this:

 

1. I don't care to set anyone off. There are some really touchy people on here who aren't so good at playing nice on this topic. There are some other really touchy people who get the guilts over other people's bad experiences, even when they had no hand in them.

 

2. I hesitate to say anything that might put stress on someone's faith. Stresses happen, but there is no reason why they should come from me.

 

If you want answers, you'd probably get more by asking for PMs. Some things are better out of the public eye.

 

See? There was no comment about your intentions.

 

Perhaps the couple you mentioned were better at pretending to have a good relationship than actually having one. This is very common.

 

:grouphug:

Rosie

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What happened for me was finally admitting to myself I had questions. Then deciding to ask myself those questions and see what I believed. That was pivotal. I had to find what was truth *for me*. Not what the church taught. Not what the Bible taught. Not what a preacher/evangelist/sunday school teacher had taught. So many Christians are believers more because of where they live, who their family is and/or who their closest friends are; not because they looked, studied and decided. Mind you, I said *many*, not all. :)

 

I don't know what I'd call myself today. My family (extended family) wouldn't consider me a Christian if they knew, I'm sure. I believe the church teaches church agenda; not God. I believe the church teaches Bible agenda; not God. I believe the way to know God is direct. Not through an organization, a preacher, a book, etc. Anything between me and God is a block and potentially misinformation. That would make my parents and sibling freak. :)

 

If I titled myself now I guess it would be a God believing, Buddha dharma studying, post evangelistic. Is there a church for that? I sure would appreciate it but we don't really have a Unity or such around here in the south. :(

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Great question! I see the "ex-Christian" in siggies too & I really would love to hear the "why". Not to change someone's mind or anything, but just out of true curiosity.

 

I am a Christian (not raised one though in any shape or form) & I've felt like giving up on the church before. My husband was a youth pastor & that was the closest I've ever come to feeling truly miserable. My son was hospitalized with pneumonia and our pastor wouldn't let my husband off that Sunday to be with me & our son at the hospital. We had several similar experiences at this church, and I remember thinking, "Is this Christianity? Is this what I changed my entire life to follow after??"

 

I never did lose faith in Jesus or my beliefs, but we did leave ministry. This was many years ago, & I finally can talk about it without hurting. It was a long road though.

 

So for those that our sharing, I'm not looking to probe & pry. I'm just wanting to "listen"...it really is just a curiosity factor for me. I wouldn't attack your beliefs any more than I would want you to attack mine.

 

Susan

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I have noticed that people assume that if you do not believe, it's because you are ignorant. I have had soooo many people tell me that if I just read the bible, go to church, pray for whatever, etc, then I will have to believe. I have done all that. I didn't just stumble into my faith. It was a long journey to get here.

Perhaps those who have these siggies are asserting their knowledge and rejection so as to prevent the assumption that they just don't know any better.

 

I can imagine....:grouphug: :glare:

 

I am a Christian, but I get SOOOO tired of the rhetoric that my life would be perfect if my faith were stronger. Even Christians have problems, real problems. And it's not always a "test of God", sometimes it's plan outright judgment from other that have pushed them to that point.

 

I have a specific incident and individual on my heart this week. Because of his "situation" I've already heard other Christians commenting on how God will turn this tragedy to good in His name. I'm really angry because it's possible that the same group's judgment and harsh critique of his "lack of good christian character" drove him to the situation. But some of them seem blind to that fact.

 

I don't feel further away from God, but I feel far removed from religion. In the last few years I have more Christ-like behavior from those who profess no faith in Christ himself. Makes me wonder...

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Last night I was just thinking this or really thinking why does one have it in their signiature. I wonder if it is a way to declare their position against a certain religion or not. I also wondered if this a way of inviting others to ask about why they choose or what led to the path that they are on. I am a former Christian and have been a Muslim for over a decade. I think it is mostly about one finding, accepting and submitting to you what believe is the truth and living one's life so that it is fufilling to you.....just some of my thoughts, sorry if it is a little long winded.

 

Peace be with you.

 

Well, I can speak for myself. I have it in my signature because I want to identify myself to other ex-Christians, and it's something significant in my life.

 

There are many people here who wear their religion or non-religion on their sigs on in their forum names. Why weren't you spending lots of time wondering why someone would put their religion on their signature? :)

 

I'm not against Christianity any more than I'm against any other religion. I just happen to be an "ex" Christian and not an "ex" anything else. And, since I spent 20 years of my life as a serious believer and now am not anymore, I guess you could say it's pretty important to me now trying to rehash out my life and identity. It's a big, difficult change. But meaningful.

 

I figure religious people, who have their beliefs in their sig lines/names find their beliefs very important to them.

 

Fair enough?

:)

 

ETA: Rosie's right, at least in my case. I'd be happy to share, but not in public. (I'm writing up my deconversion "story" right now.) Sharing one's testimony in Jesus Christ is pretty well respected. Sharing one's disbelief. . . less so. Anyone is welcome to PM me. I've PMed other folks myself in the past on these issues ;)

Edited by freethinkermama
Agreeing with Rosie
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Well, I can speak for myself. I have it in my signature because I want to identify myself to other ex-Christians, and it's something significant in my life.

 

There are many people here who wear their religion or non-religion on their sigs on in their forum names. Why weren't you spending lots of time wondering why someone would put their religion on their signature? :)

 

I'm not against Christianity any more than I'm against any other religion. I just happen to be an "ex" Christian and not an "ex" anything else. And, since I spent 20 years of my life as a serious believer and now am not anymore, I guess you could say it's pretty important to me now trying to rehash out my life and identity. It's a big, difficult change. But meaningful.

 

I figure religious people, who have their beliefs in their sig lines/names find their beliefs very important to them.

 

Fair enough?

:)

 

Oh, start a blog. Link it in your siggie. I'm dying to read about your journey!!!!!!!!! Seriously, I love your posts!

 

 

Susan

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I can imagine....:grouphug: :glare:

 

I am a Christian, but I get SOOOO tired of the rhetoric that my life would be perfect if my faith were stronger. Even Christians have problems, real problems. And it's not always a "test of God", sometimes it's plan outright judgment from other that have pushed them to that point.

..

 

After my brother died (and on the way to the funeral) I kept hearing,

"He just wouldn't embrace his healing". :001_huh: Yeah, it couldn't at ALL be that a god could not heal him from this disease from which NO ONE has survived, it must be the dying man's fault. I sat there thinking, "and you have the nerve to wonder why I don't want any part of this religion?!"

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After my brother died (and on the way to the funeral) I kept hearing,

"He just wouldn't embrace his healing". :001_huh: Yeah, it couldn't at ALL be that a god could not heal him from this disease from which NO ONE has survived, it must be the dying man's fault. I sat there thinking, "and you have the nerve to wonder why I don't want any part of this religion?!"

 

:grouphug: Grief is hard enough without idiotic statements like that. I'm sorry for your loss.

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