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My deconversion story - Long
#1
My deconversion story - Long
I grew up in a very strict nondenominational sect called the "church of Christ." We were taught that we were the only people going to heaven, not only because we believed in Jesus Christ, but also because we did not worship God with musical instruments. God, we were told, had a beef with instrumental accompaniment. The preachers backed up this idea with Bible verses taken out of context. As a little child, I went along with everything because there were activities for the kids, like vacation Bible school. However, one thing that struck me was the way fellow youth group members treated me -- like shit. They avoided me like the plague from the start, and talked about me behind my back. Their hatred lasted all through high school. They despised me because I wanted to study the Bible. I couldn't wrap my mind around how these Bible-believing people could be so opposed to devotion to God.

I joined a Christian club in high school that consisted of students from many denominations. I quickly noticed that their zeal for knowing God was greater than that of the people at my church. Yet I had been taught they were going to hell because they worshiped with musical instruments. I began to do more in-depth Bible study, and discovered that the Bible did not match what came from the pulpit at my church.
After graduating high school, I managed to leave the church of Christ denomination. I remained a devout Christian, and went in search of the real Christianity. I explored everything from charismatic Christianity to the Mennonites.

While in college, I met quite a few nonbelievers. What struck me was that these nonbelievers had incredible respect for me and my faith, more respect than the people at my childhood church! That observation made me wonder why they did not believe in God despite the fact that they were very good people. There began my journey into atheism.
My reaction to Christianity was based on people's behavior toward me at the time, for emotional reasons, which was not a solid foundation for deconversion.

My reasoning was: If Christianity is indeed true, then the followers of Jesus Christ will always be markedly different from the rest of humanity because they are filled with the holy spirit, which is supposed to be supernatural. So when I found who I thought were THE Christians, I thought I'd give the faith a chance again, only to face disappointment when their behavior matched that of the heathens they condemned.

In 2008, I began to deconvert from Christianity. I stopped going to church, and began to explore other religions. Then a few years later, my livelihood was threatened by a relative (my family is very unstable!). I was new to the city to which I moved, I knew no one, and had nowhere to go. I felt so unsafe that I returned to church for the sense of security and belonging it offered. In the process, I converted to Catholicism.

Though I was at odds with the church because of its history, especially the current child pedophilia scandals, I allowed cognitive dissonance to take over because I needed to get connected to the community and feel safe again.

I recently began to explore atheism again because of the fact that the people at the church act as though they don't really believe their wrongful actions will send them to hell. They are not morally superior to nonbelievers. So once again, I left the church because of hypocrisy.

Now that I'm out of the church, I have been challenging the faith on doctrinal grounds, not emotional grounds. The outcome has been priceless. Until now, it had never occurred to me that Christianity condemns Hitler's victims to hell simply because they were Jews. Until now, I still had my blinders on. Now that I see what kind of god the Christians worship, I can no longer be a Christian.

And next time I feel unsafe, I will join a hobby group instead!


Thanks for reading.
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#2
RE: My deconversion story - Long
You''ll find hypocrisy anywhere you find human beings in large numbers or positions of authority. Sorry that things went down for you the way that they did. Still, looks like you came out the other end a better person if only for what you learned about your own values juxtaposed against those of others who you had simply assumed shared them. Welcome aboard btw (if I missed your intro..I can never remember that sort of thing).
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#3
RE: My deconversion story - Long
Quote:My reasoning was: If Christianity is indeed true, then the followers of Jesus Christ will always be markedly different from the rest of humanity because they are filled with the holy spirit, which is supposed to be supernatural.

But that would make it empirical evidence for god, but it seems as he hides from such things. Big Grin

But really, music? What could rhytmically mathematical arrangements of sound wave patterns have, to be offensive to a god?
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#4
RE: My deconversion story - Long
Quote:then the followers of Jesus Christ will always be markedly different from the rest of humanity because they are filled with the holy spirit

They're different all right....but what they are filled with is holy shit.


Nice essay.
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#5
RE: My deconversion story - Long
Good for you! You always knew it, I can tell. It's hard to come to terms with it, I know, but you were on the path long ago, when your peers were hating on you for being inquisitive and reading the bible. I was recently told by an evangelical that my intelligence is a curse and of the devil. The manipulation is thick, and necessary to keep a steady influx of "believers".

You've got friends here! Smile
42

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#6
RE: My deconversion story - Long
(December 22, 2011 at 8:22 am)Freedom Wrote: My reasoning was: If Christianity is indeed true, then the followers of Jesus Christ will always be markedly different from the rest of humanity because they are filled with the holy spirit, which is supposed to be supernatural.

Of all the Christian groups I've researched over the last 30 years, the group that comes the closest - and by a very big margin - to the qualities one would expect of followers of Christ is the Jehovah's Witnesses. Having spent some time getting to know their interpretation of Scripture, and having attended many Kingdom Hall meetings, it is clear to me that they are rather free of the prejudices, homophobia, bigotries, that seem to infect so much of Christendom. They're also kind, patient, loving, understanding, qualities missing from so much of Christendom. I'm not surprised that they're much maligned by the rest of Christendom.

Thinking
The interesting thing about Truth is that Truth is still Truth even if the devil speaks it. The interesting thing about Lies is that Lies are still Lies even if God speaks them.
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#7
RE: My deconversion story - Long
Not really...but I'm glad you found it to be so. Personal experience (family and friends) has shown them to be rather obnoxious (although less so marginally) than other xtian cults. And just as cruel.
"The Universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest." G'Kar-B5
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#8
My deconversion story - Long
Congratulations on coming to reality. I came from a church of christ as well where it was very strictly a Capella and no women could go in front of the congregation, etc. I didn't explore the other denominations as extensively as you, but your story sounds alot like mine. I've never felt as happy as I have the last 6 or so years since I stopped telling myself that the church was right just because it was how I was raised, rather than honestly believing it.
Wow just realized this thread is a few months old, tapatalk needs to make it more obvious!
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#9
RE: My deconversion story - Long
I know it's a few months old, but that's the best deconversion story I have read on here.
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