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Old 07-29-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
8,388 posts, read 8,338,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamisweetheart View Post
What made you want to become a non-believer?

"Want" wasn't a factor.

All through my youth I was forced to attend church, Bible school, the works. Even as a kid, I couldn't force myself to believe that it was based on old middle eastern myths. It was never real for me. YMMV
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: England
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As a few people have pointed out we are all born as atheists, it is our natural state.

It is only when conversion to religion occurs (usually when we are young) that our natural state is corrupted.
If there was a god don't you think he would have hard wired us to be born christian rather than atheist?
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Dallas: Oak Cliff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamisweetheart View Post
What made you want to become a non-believer?
I THOUGHT about it.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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I began asking questions of the yokels who were shoving "god's love" and "darkness" and "holy spirit" down my throat. When their answers failed to bridge the wide river between "assertion" and "saying something of value", I jumped over to atheism relatively quickly.

Ironically, it's evolution that is likely killing religion right now. We're getting smarter!
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:48 AM
 
Location: South Africa
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Default Long post

At the behest of Ariquipa, here is my extimony

Dismissing Eternal Torment is one of the steps we take to deal with the irrational if god = love then how can he then confine the majority to ET. We all have been down that road and no need to elaborate.

Let us back track to the time we thought we converted. I assume the typical "born again" experience here. Most have grown up under the influence of xianity even if they deny it or were not regular church attendees. In my case I was forced to go to church till I was 16. We had no kiddies Sunday school and I was exposed to the grosspill from a very early age in terms of threats and damnation. By age 8, I started questioning and already at that age it was illogical to me.

When I finally came back, all that indoctrination was still well entrenched. My dad was always on about "teh ende of teh wurlde" and in 1990-ish with the impending independence of SA coinciding with the gulf war 1 and two small children, this clicked off a buried fear. I was ripe for the pickings.

I entered into the church thing at that stage primarily for the sake of the kids and went through an adult catechism just so I could participate in answering questions at the christening ceremony of my second child. Somehow I got further sucked in by some of Hal Lindsey's crap and in total biblical ignorance accepted watching 3 videos in this theme over a weekend which led to a somewhat "moving" conversion. At the time I had joined a group of happy clappies on a Friday night playing and singing songs and clapping hands from the church where this was verboten. Coupled with the fact my guitar talent seemed very appreciated and filled a void where I had just lost my "worldly" band.

All of these were coincidental and I even saw some divine hand guiding it all.

The whole thing depended on my capitulation to fear, my willingness to accept my dad's doom 'n gloom w/o any real biblical knowledge. I started an interdenominational xian band which took off quite well, one lad enticed me to an evangelical church as that is where we practiced, then I got exposed to the "gifts" and over time desired this too.

Now the pattern you need to see, at all points of what happened, I was a willing participant accepting everything at face value. I got very prophetic very quickly as I was brainwashing myself by 8+ hours a day in the word, so much of what I prophesied was biblically based, bear in mind I watched xian videos till 2 in the morning. I was also listening exclusively to gospel tapes. IOW, w/o even realizing it, I had bought the entire debacle hook line and sinker and was feeding the "hunger" with multiple sources. It was a turning point in my life, folk noticed a difference but then I was maturing so who knows what really happened?

This period lasted some 6 months then the 1st fall out and I changed churches.

What happened later was irrelevant as I was merely hopping, looking for that so called anointing I felt in the beginning - it had departed

Lets discuss that.

If you have been following, I had swallowed it all up; I wanted it to be true. I was creating this god in my own mind. My biblical studies were merely trying to do a lot of catch up and took everything at face value. Of course I asked questions and initially anyone longer in the faith, I took their explanations as verbatim truth. It all seemed to all fall into place. I had a good job and had ample church activities to keep me busy. To them I was one of them and rose to the position of P&W leader primarily ‘cause every other musician sucked. Of course I experienced the goose bump anointing, everyone else was having goose bumps and talking about it so it must be true.

In all cases and stages, I now realize, my subconscious was merely making real what I was inventing and accepting, Tongues came as I had heard and accepted them and even today can in spite of my rejection do it at will, I can even imitate the anointing and get the same results I had as a theist.

As the topic subject is about brainwashing indoctrination, no matter the experience you had you thought was real can be analyzed and one can see that in one way or another, the power of suggestion was is at work.

I never ever saw or sensed satan or demons yet others did. I did not take it to be literal, somehow lil' red guy did not make it past my skeptic barriers; I believed they existed because the bible references them and of course, more brainwashing via xian testimonies and videos of alleged deliverance etc. What was there not to believe except that these demuns always only seem to affect theists and only manifest in churches. Yup even down to the writhing and speaking in funny voices, all can be explained w/o some supernatural happening. Just like I was a willing participant wanting so much to be true,the demons are also created in our minds.

Services are conducted in a way that sets the stage to lull people into a state of hypnosis that ultimately allows them unquestioningly accept whatever is offered from the pulpit. Being on the giving end, I could see this happening and I knew how to compile programs that were anointed, I was well trained. I had to battle staying awake in sermons as I was not on the receiving end and was focusing on delivering the program watching how the folk were reacting and the pastor and I had unwritten codes of looking and acknowledging when the sheeple were ready. Neither of us was willfully aware and of course this was all put down to the hs.

So folk get fired up and need a midweek recharge and then it all starts over the next Sunday. I of course was engrossed in preparing the next program and working out tabs for new songs. By now my biblical studies were limited to reading a few verses on the crapper.

My father died of Alzheimer's. That was the start of the deconversion process. Here, a man of 60+ years dedication to the lawd and finishes off this life as an imbecile. That was 60+ unwavering w/o a back-slide btw.

Briefly I stood down to take care of my dad and when the crap really was getting bad I was crying out for god to send someone to minister to me, elders passed by in their cars waved and nothing more. Then I got to asking some real tough questions, I was angry at god, I mean after being a faithful servant in that last church 8+ years and a huge thither, member of the financial committee etc. I eventually had to call the pastor on his cell phone to come minister to us. In all that time ±6 months, not even one phone call.

Well dad died and I never had the unction to return although I did try once or twice. I discovered universalism and for awhile, that made sense and sort of answered my questions. The bitterness and anger toward god and the church never left and it was in that time I really got back into the word this time looking for answers everywhere, the more I tried to justify my beliefs, as time progressed, so to did my faith begin to wane. What some witnessed as wisdom from me was purely the fact of the knowledge gained and trying to make all the square pegs fit into round holes. Many came to accept me as some kind of authority yet I was amazed that this was happening.

I continued to debate fundies, atheists left me alone due to the liberal bias I had and many befriended me. I signed up with ex-christian.net and post there as LivingLife this of course led me to many other sources and challenged I found I could not find rebuttals for. I searched low and high, far and wide but ultimately it came down to my doubts being confirmed, many had had similar experiences.

I cannot say exactly what was the straw that broke the camel's back but when I walked that final step, true liberation, nightmares gone, slept well at night in a long time.

Oddly enough the ability to memorize scrips has been remarkably more easier than when I was still in the theist camp.

The voices in my head I thought were god are now silent. My thoughts are no longer clouded by constant chatter, just me musing and talking to myself.

The fear factor I have overcome totally and god needs to appear in person, a talking donkey or burning bush or dream will not be enough. My standards for proof are somewhat higher now.

The biblical yielding to authority is a con too. Most of paul's writings looking now on them as an outsider and in reflection of my journey, he is a false prophet. When ever I debate now and read scrips, I see a whole new meaning. Yes there are some truths there but most is man-made and where contradictions are they are and no more need to try and make square pegs fit into round holes.

Most of us have recognized the inherent need folk have for community. The church provides this albeit a twisted version. Community and friendships exist outside of the faith. I am a bit of a loner in RL. So I am a bit of a "cyber nut" and most of my current friends are internet pen pals.

My only regrets is that I ever got sucked into the lies of christendom, lots of time and money wasted and listening to bad advice. Its been 8 years since I left church and finally I am free, 4 years since my dad's funeral and not one visit or phone call from anyone, so much for that lost sheep doctrine eh?

When I stopped listening to grosspill music in 2009 it made the final transition easier. Maybe I should auction them off as I no longer need them - the radio and secular music is just fine.

I have rationalized retrospectively all the things I perceived to be real and there is a rational/clinical reason for all my experiences. They were all in my mind.

Ditching god is the hardest part as that is the final step. I have made peace with my mortality and being dead will be no different to when I became self aware at age 2-3.

My family know my sentiments but I am not forcing any of this on them, they need to find their own paths but they are pretty much godless like me.

Hey and the sky did not fall. The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west (of course that we all know is an illusion as the globe rotates)



Part Deux

It is amazing the testimonies of deconversion and the mental abuse of the church and how all seem so similar. I would equate xianity like some snazzy can opener that does all these extra things and all for the bargain price of $(your mind) yet at the end of the day, the only thing it does well is - open cans.

After all the years of indoctrination (read: wasted time) one is somehow forced into finding a replacement theology that works and deals with the contradictions while still allowing one to believe in a deity of sorts.

The question I ask, when the bible no longer is considered the "inerrant" word of god, what justifies our belief by departing from the mainstream beliefs and fitting what makes sense to us to fit the altered paradigm. Do we really need a belief or is it just a crutch?

You know, I did it all, operated in 5 of the nine gifts prophesied, interpreted tongues and confirmations by at least 1 witness that validated the garbage I espoused. At the time I was 101% convinced, "geez, the hs really moved amongst us today, isn't he great"? The alleged founder of the xian church does not practice these gifts yet we have post the Azusa revival all this nonsense that took the mundane of hail Mary chants to something more meaningful and participative.

Now everyone is a preacher and a prophet. All the while my wife's skepticism was seen by me as the gift of discernment, woman's intuition maybe, and she often called BS on the proceedings. Of course we are told that god is no respecter of persons and will use whomsoever he chooses so in spite of their obvious contradictory lifestyles, its all good. We all bought this crapola.

Based on this single common denominator of alleged hs infilling/baptism, we are supposed to have had the spirit of Christ indwelling and therefor stands to reason that the "new man" in Christ is sinless and thus sanctified and thus blah blah blah...

See the mental gymnastics at work, see the apologetics, see the justification, see the affirmation - ALL LIES!

Of course the blood atonement takes care of this in contradiction to the laws of the OT where in Ezekiel, it is clearly stated that the son shall not pay for the sins of the father. That kinda removes the whole original sin and makes jesus a liar or more accurately, those that portrayed him as a human god-man.

But never mind, we were all taught that god is never changing yet the message we read in the bible is flexi-preferential to the whims of the prophet which of course is all too prevalent in today's modern church.

These were the questions outside of the ET doctrine that never went away, do we merely ignore these discrepancies? It seems the latest apologetic theme is that we should take those things as parabolic and not literal, that then kind of blows the whole creation account far out the water. No original sin = jesus not necessary or died in vain.

Why do we tell our kids the stork story instead of the Adam myth when the "where did we come" Q's arise? I dunno, seems that we have a habit of lying and believing in lies and myths, it shuts up the curiosity factor. By the time kids are grown up they have exchanged the lie of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus for the one of invisible god.

Lately I just cannot shake the idea that jesus was much like me and challenged all the doctrines of his forebearers. I think he could see the moral values hidden and tried to expose the BS surrounding it. Even the suggestion that jesus was sinless is BS. Under the law he broke two laws, both punishable by death. Apologists are quick to point out that this was the son of god hence the laws did not apply to him. How convenient? Surely, if these were his father's dictated laws, how then could the son come and break them? The image of a secular jesus works for me as then much of his philosophical teachings are good w/o the myriad of add on miracles which we all know, were he secular, are not possible with what science teaches us today.

The way the NT is compiled is a set up well orchestrated to keep the folk in submission to earthly authority; there are plenty of verses that deal with the heathen like me "...having turned away from the faith having tasted the glory..." In a modern setting, that is akin to placing me on your ignore list or unfriending me on your facebook page. In fact the bible encourages you to do this, "...what fellowship has light with darkness..., do not be yoked with an unbeliever". So the conscientious objectors like me are banished to oblivion.


Err what about that lost sheep parable again?

The contradictions are so stark merely from a simple rational level w/o even delving to the accuracy of texts and their lack of historicity.


Why do folk become atheists?

Well - simple failure of delivery according to specifications.

We refuse to accept defective products of services in the secular real life but have no problem, it seems, to accept defects in the "spiritual" life.

Just thinking on the definition of quality. In a nutshell, it means;

Conformance to requirements.

Surely if we apply that same logic to the faith, it fails time and again, however there is verse that sweeps that under the carpet, "His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts"

Geez, I thought we were made in his image and he said it was all good." dang I forgot the fall of man. Odd that the perfect man was duped by a talking snake - a fallen angel - hmmmm no it is all the women's fault according to Paul, wearing those pant suits that have us men "crotch gazing" and STILL being deceived by the immoral woman. Dang pull out the burkas just in case we have immoral thoughts, no cleavage, no tight fitting pants, no make-up, yet in the animal kingdom, the males are the show offs. The female peacock is rather bland compared to the male's colorful plumage, I guess the fall of man was greater than we thought so god inverted the role of attraction (speaking of course from a male perspective)

Rambling...

This brings us to the next exciting episode in our tale, why is this omni-everything god so hung up ('scuse the pun) by what we do with the bits between our legs. I kinda relate this to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil where man is instinctively (normally) attracted to the girly bits and will spout his plume feathers in the form of chocolates and flowers and sweet nothings (or a big bank account) seeing he lost the ability to wow the ladies in other ways and really only to do his bit in procreating the species then is told you bad boy, you should not have such immoral thoughts yet it is he, god that allegedly said go forth and multiply, maybe god meant math - I dunno? Maybe that is where the geeks come from?

Of course, with the loss of our flattering plumage abilities, the fairer sex got to be the deciding/controlling factor seeking out the best suited suitor to father her offspring, seems we can toss the chocolates and roses guys, that is mere window dressing. I guess that flattery gets you nowhere - eh?

There is of course a natural order we see here at play in survival of the fittest or richest or the dude with the best genes (and that is not Levi's BTW). Fortunately, our species allows for a degenerating scale and somewhere there is someone that will be your spouse. So we have this natural order that is overridden by some obviously bad looking dudes that tells us that wimmen are to be the help-meets (read: sex slaves and baby making machines) so that the ugly dudes also can get some.

Hell I have digressed so far now I lost my train of thought. ...thinking...

Yeah we see that religion has a way of degenerating some and elevating others which leads me inexorably to the observation, ever see a mega church with a bad looking pastor? I think we can discount Haggee and son as they are both fat dudes - exception to the rule and all. What folk saw in Todd Bently heaven only knows...

You see, methinks that even us men folk are drawn to attractive males that appear to have this ability to woo the masses, maybe we just want to get a few tips from the alpha male eh?

Which leads us full circle back to the submission of authority. The book tells the heathen females to submit to their husbands, shaddup and don't ask too many questions and then bring bubbah a beer from the fridge while he catches up on the highlights of the ball game after church and walmart shopping.

Then of course in churches as a bell curve will attest to, there are folk that have this irritating characteristic of always asking Q's. The wimmenfolk can be dismissed and told to "learn from their husbands" and the men folk like me - we are told that satan is deceiving us and that we should pray w/o ceasing and just believe. How convincing for a probing mind?

The fact is the system operates just fine and dandy with folk that choose to follow blindly and "let the pastor do the walking through the bible pages" - god forbid you develop rational thinking and employ logic; and woman, "why are you not in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant", how dare you question god me?

IMHO if jesus was a real person and appeared today in our time frame, chances are high that he would be classified as an atheist by the fundigelicals.

Sadly, this is my summation of the modern church and praise zeus that I no longer subscribe to these myths. There is a common thread internationally and it all has to do with mind control if we look at folk coming out of the system.


This extimony was posted 3 years ago and I have since stopped shouting at teh skyman

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Ta. I knew Seeker as a sortatheist back in the Tentmaker and ISOG days and when I heard he had a deconversion story, I thought this was a good place to plant it.

It's worth reading such because of all the assurance we read in the theists testimonies that it's ALL Real...God speaks to me...I KNOW!!...the half of the atheists - the deconverts - they have been there, done that and will bear the marks to the grave.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:59 AM
 
Location: South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Ta. I knew Seeker as a sortatheist back in the Tentmaker and ISOG days and when I heard he had a deconversion story, I thought this was a good place to plant it.

It's worth reading such because of all the assurance we read in the theists testimonies that it's ALL Real...God speaks to me...I KNOW!!...the half of the atheists - the deconverts - they have been there, done that and will bear the marks to the grave.
It was a difficult journey out, didn't just wake up one day and say that's it

There are many extimonies on Ex-Christian.net and all very similar and from all around the world. The problem with theists and us is that they cannot imagine we can abandon the delusion of imaginary people and once that bell is rung, it cannot be unrung.

The bible has oodles of verses that attest to this to keep the sheeple that remain with some vestige of hope.

Dawkins, Hitchens and other alleged atheist dear leaders, did not influence me one bit. It is only once you come out and reflect that you are able to see how you were conned into it in the first place.

The old mantra of we left just so that we can sin is a pretty lame apologetic as most atheists I know are normal upstanding folk. I once challenged my pastor as to what sins I was committing and there were none. In the conversation my 30 or so exploits with knowing other women in the biblical sense (before I married) came up and he insisted on praying for me to be absolved from those "sins" and that I had to release them and forgive them for leading me astray . Like I needed any persuasion back in my 20's. I guess what shocked him was that he had ess grown up in a very conservative home and married very young and had not had anyone fess up to what I fessed up to.

Quite hilarious as he probably had some nightmares of others finding out seeing I was leading the congregation in praise and worship. Sometimes teh bludd of jesuz just ain't enough cover for some sinz eh?
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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This is perfectly true. I never read a word of Dawkins until long after I had realized that atheist was what I was and must be.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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I didn't really become an atheist. I was christened, but it's just the thing to do. I was never brought up as a Christian, I was never taken to church. The most religious person in my family is my grandmother and even she doesn't go to church at all.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:31 PM
 
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I have been without a belief in gods (atheist) since birth. I didn't have to "become" what I have always been.
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