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I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
#1
I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
Hello, everyone,
This thread is going to be long, so please take your time. I think I am going crazy, so I am asking for your help. I didn't know where to post this so I am sorry in advance if I should have posted this somewhere else.

My name is Tucker and I am an atheist... in my mind, but possibly Christian in my heart. That doesn't make much sense, so I will just tell you a bit about myself. I am not going to try to convert anyone or convince anyone of anything, because I am an atheist, so no need to worry about that. Just bear with me.

I was always an atheist, even as a kid. I thought I believed in God, but in reality I never did. I was always looking for evidence, even if I thought evidence was an answer to one of my prayers. Anyway, I obviously got interested in many things later throughout my life, like Buddhism, chakras, out of body experiences, meditation and what not. I was into all the new age thing. I probably even made up some stuff of my own. Anyway, after experimenting with each I realized that nothing would yield any real, verifiable, objective result. It could all just be in my head. I analyzed, tested and everything failed. I then decided that none of it was real and that it was just mind tricks and/or wishful thinking. Then I obviously got to the point when I could admit that I was an ATHEIST. Everything made sense. I don't know much about evolution or how it exactly works, but I thought to myself that I didn't even need to know HOW we got here in order to be able to refute all religions out there. Not knowing an answer to a question (evolution) does not imply that any other answer (religion) is right. Besides, I've skimmed "holy books", if not even read entire passages and chapters and I could see the contradictions. It is all clear that the Bible, Quran and the rest are just books written by man.

All fine and dandy until some Christian managed to shock me with one of Kent Hovind's videos. Yes. I was starting to believe in Kent's claims and then because of that shock that, I disregarded everything I knew and I "repented", decided to become a Christian. No one in my real life knows because I was still not entirely sure. Anyway, since then I kept switching back and forth from Atheism to Christianity, for who knows what reason. I used to talk to Christians about Jesus or even listen to Christian songs without feeling anything. They were just songs that meant nothing to me. I'd laugh at them even. However, it gradually became more. Now this is where it gets annoying and weird. I feel as though someone had just taken my brain out and replaced it with something else. I now LOVE and can even relate to Christian songs. By Christian songs I mean worship songs too. When I talk about certain topics I feel different. It is like I am denying the fact that I know Jesus is a God. It feels like denial. Even when I sometimes argue with Christians, I feel like I am denying who I really am.

The obvious question now is why did I keep coming back to Christianity if I knew that Kent Hovind's videos were not true AND the bible didn't make any sense? Well, I got a feeling. Yep. As stupid as it sounds, whenever I decide to go "full atheist", if I ever talk to a Christian about Jesus or God, or whenever I stumble upon a Christian song, I feel weird. Sometimes this feeling of denial, or whatever it is, gets so strong that nothing can calm it down but Christian songs. It's like I am on drugs. I need my drugs whenever that feeling hits me, and after that it is all peaceful again. However, it doesn't last long enough for me to figure out exactly what it is. It is a weird physical feeling in my chest, heart or at least it feels physical. It's like someone is pinching me every now and then and in that moment I can't control myself. I have never experienced such thing with the other religions or new age things I've done. This is something new, more powerful. If someone dragged me to church and made me confess that Jesus was God, I think I would. I would cry and believe for a while and then when everything was back to normal, I'd tell myself "oh I am so stupid. This religion makes no sense, how can it be real? What is the matter with you?". I didn't use to be like that. A few years ago, if you had thrown me in a church I'd have started laughing and waited for it to be over. Now it's like the feeling is overcoming me.

Now, the Christian explanation is simple. I repented and now the Holy Spirit is drawing me back to God, no matter where I go. You can find the concept of being drawn to God everywhere in the Bible. This should be evidence that what I am experiencing is the real thing, however I can't let myself believe that. There are numerous people who were so sure of their experiences and were wrong. This is also too subjective, even though all Christians seem to have experienced something similar.
My atheist / scientific / psychological explanation is that maybe that I want to believe in God, that I want to be in a community like the one Christians have. I probably want to know that there is someone up there taking care of me. I honestly have no idea what it is exactly and I am trying to be as honest with myself as possible.

I have been trying to get rid of that feeling for a few years now but I can't. It always brings me back. The longest I lasted was a month. I've obviously prayed, challenged God and everything, but I got nothing. Nothing that is good enough. I feel that maybe if I try to avoid Christians and their music at all costs for a long period of time, I might be able to get back to "normal". This is the reason why most Christians can't even be convinced. If they experience what I experience, they will chalk it up to the Holy Spirit. It feels so real that you can't ignore it. It's not like one of those new age experiences, where you think you can feel something. It feels physical. It's like I know I am not doing something right and when that happens it brings you to tears too. You know those videos where you see Christians singing and literally crying? I can experience that too and it is so powerful that you can't deny it.

My question to you guys is, has any of you experienced something similar? How did you overcome it? If not, what do you guys think I should do to overcome it? It is dangerous blind faith. I don't want to feel like I am denying that Jesus is a God, I want to KNOW that Jesus is NOT a God just like I used to a few years ago. I am 23 and an introvert if that helps with anything. I am honestly seeking for help.

Now this is a little embarrassing... If you see the same thread under the name NeuerMensch... well that was me too, two years ago, struggling with the same thing.
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#2
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
Faith isn't blind anyway. But your "Normal" state is in relation to God- not divorced.
You just got it the other way around in your head.

How about the atheist challenge I have given sometimes.  It goes like this:
HUMBLY ask the God of Heaven if He is real. Show me. Thank you.
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#3
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
Well, if Jesus is a god (which I think is true), then he's pretty tough, and unlikely to get so uptight over denial & doubt issues as Christians fear he is. If the Holy Ghost is drawing you nearer to God, then good. I don't put too much stock in "feeling" things; I don't usually feel a lot of excitement in connection with my devotions. In fact, I think Christianity as religion has always been in a distorted state, never presenting an honest theology to followers. It's been manipulated for fun, politics, and profit from the day after the angel rolled back the stone capping Jesus' tomb.

Which is why I don't subscribe to human-controlled religion anymore. Unfortunately, atheism is really another human-controlled belief system, or should I say family of allied belief systems for accuracy, so we never entirely escape. Social control within atheism is extremely lax, however: perhaps just a scolding from Bill Maher on TV.  Argue

As an atheist you'll be expected to go full bore and develop a snide, snarky attitude toward your former religion and the ridiculous stories in its holy texts. Learn science well, particularly the big bang cosmology and Darwinian evolution. But never "believe" in these latter items; the slogan of atheism is We Make No Claims. Instead, merely assert their truth is established by the Self-Correcting Scientific Method. Nothing less will do on this site, which after all carries the venerable image of a Lithium atom on its masthead. I like atheism as a counterweight to religious authority, though. The Hierarchy gets so Stuffy it needs its balloon popped from time to time. Visit the RationalWiki for more details.

Jokes aside, best wishes to you. I don't know how to resolve your issue, that is, how you "know" that Jesus is not a god, particularly if you "knew" this in the past but don't "know" it now. I don't fully know what it means to "know" something, or how this differs from "believing" or "feeling."  Of course I don't believe either of the two creation narratives in Genesis or the Noah Ark story faithfully represent any event in the natural world, if modern standards of historiography and science are to be applied to them. There's no geologic evidence for a global flood in recent time, no reason to think our planet condensed in six days, or that its date of formation is less than 4 or 5 billion years past. Oddly, these silly issues hijack all the airtime in theist-atheist contretemps. In the end, whether Jesus is a god doesn't depend on what we think; it's either "true" or it's not.

I like some Christian music. I like Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and Bach's St. John Passion best. I doubt you're in danger of going insane within the next 24 hours or so. Again, best of luck fall into your hat!  Angel
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#4
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
(May 2, 2015 at 8:42 am)professor Wrote: How about the atheist challenge I have given sometimes.  It goes like this:
HUMBLY ask the God of Heaven if He is real. Show me. Thank you.

Tried it. How will I determine whether I've received an answer? How can I remove any ambiguity so that I can be sure there's no other explanation for the answer? How long do you recommend I give the experiment before making a conclusion?

Come on, you profess to be a professor. You should know about these things.
At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist.  This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways - with relief or with despair.  Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, 'Wait a second.  That means there's a situation vacant.'
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#5
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
It sucks that you seem conflicted in this matter. None of us can really tell you what to believe or how to forsake any belief you may have remaining. That is something that you need to confront with yourself. The best way to determine how you truly feel is to simply sit alone and talk to yourself. It may sound strange, but ask yourself questions and provide honest answers. Do you really believe in God, or do you just want to? Is it possible that what you're 'feelings' are just your subconscious trying to comfort you?

Questions like that may open your eyes to your true beliefs. Either way, whether religious or not, you are welcome here.
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#6
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
Dude, the morals you have in your heart as you say, were simply usurped by christianity. That's all there is. They profit in human feelings to drive their money making schemes, taking credit over something that is natural to our species.
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#7
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
First of all I wouldn't worry so much - if you get feelings of religious deprivation and music helps, why not. However, I'd recommend switching to classical sacred music if it works. That way you at least get to listen to good music while indulging in your addiction Tongue

But yes, you feel drawn to it, like a heroin addict feels drawn to the stuff. That doesn't mean that heroin is God and opium the holy ghost Big Grin and likewise, it don't mean that you are drawn to God.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#8
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
(May 2, 2015 at 8:29 am)Tucker Wrote: My name is Tucker and I am an atheist... in my mind, but possibly Christian in my heart. That doesn't make much sense, so I will just tell you a bit about myself. I am not going to try to convert anyone or convince anyone of anything, because I am an atheist, so no need to worry about that. Just bear with me.



The obvious question now is why did I keep coming back to Christianity if I knew that Kent Hovind's videos were not true AND the bible didn't make any sense? Well, I got a feeling.

However, it doesn't last long enough for me to figure out exactly what it is. It is a weird physical feeling in my chest, heart or at least it feels physical. It's like someone is pinching me every now and then and in that moment I can't control myself. I have never experienced such thing with the other religions or new age things I've done. This is something new, more powerful. If someone dragged me to church and made me confess that Jesus was God, I think I would.



Now, the Christian explanation is simple. I repented and now the Holy Spirit is drawing me back to God, no matter where I go. You can find the concept of being drawn to God everywhere in the Bible. This should be evidence that what I am experiencing is the real thing, however I can't let myself believe that. There are numerous people who were so sure of their experiences and were wrong. This is also too subjective, even though all Christians seem to have experienced something similar.
My atheist / scientific / psychological explanation is that maybe that I want to believe in God, that I want to be in a community like the one Christians have. I probably want to know that there is someone up there taking care of me. I honestly have no idea what it is exactly and I am trying to be as honest with myself as possible.


You know those videos where you see Christians singing and literally crying? I can experience that too and it is so powerful that you can't deny it.

My question to you guys is, has any of you experienced something similar? How did you overcome it? If not, what do you guys think I should do to overcome it? It is dangerous blind faith. I don't want to feel like I am denying that Jesus is a God, I want to KNOW that Jesus is NOT a God just like I used to a few years ago. I am 23 and an introvert if that helps with anything. I am honestly seeking for help.



I can't say I've ever been where you are now.  I really haven't ever believed with my heart or my head.  But I grew up in a Christian household and I have a fondness for a number of hymns and even the Lutheran liturgy especially when the service sung rather than just recited.  And I can and do occasionally get a wonderful feeling in my chest from singing them in groups.
So I don't think you are crazy.  And I have no doubt the feeling you are describing is real.  

The question is what actually causes the feeling.  Most religions produce that feeling in some people though not necessarily everyone of that faith.  You feel it with Christian hymns, other people feel it through practicing other religions, some at sporting events, others by participating in the arts, others a political rallies.  I think the ability to have that feeling is human, and one of the good things about being human.  It can be misused though.

I'd enjoy the feeling and try not to worry about it too much.  Unlike say crack cocaine, I don't think hymns are going to hurt you.

 
If there is a god, I want to believe that there is a god.  If there is not a god, I want to believe that there is no god.
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#9
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
Hello there Smile I'm very sorry to hear how much you are struggling.

I've not been through religion myself so it's a bit hard to comment. However it does give me the unclouded perspective that it is all entirely made up bullshit. There is no need to to try and disprove things like "Jesus is God" because there is no reason to think that they are true. Claiming "you can't prove its not true" is an argument from ignorance, the bread and butter of theists. Whether or not Jesus exists, or is God, doesn't depend on anyone's ability to prove they aren't. However, there is no good reason to think they are.

I'm not denying you feel something, of course you do. But there is no way you can possibly know it is coming from some supernatural force. It sounds like people have put the power of suggestion over you, and you're attributing things to what they want you to. I actually felt an amazing feeling once, while watching an atheist video. I was on my own, but it felt like I had atheists around me who understood, I felt part of the crowd watching the guy speak and I felt an amazing sense of happiness, almost magical. I felt part of something bigger than me. Of course I identified that feeling as getting caught up in the moment and how I felt there were people who understood me. But I can see how easily such a big feeling can be attributed to some random supernatural thing.

I don't know if it will help, but my website (link in my signature) has lots of information, including how to break down logical fallacies like the argument from ignorance. It will help you spot the kind of tricks theists pull.

I hope you know people like Hovind are con men. Whether or not they believe their own bullshit, their arguments are fallacy ridden nonsense designed to confuse someone who isn't prepared for it.

Keep at it, and let us know what further thoughts you have.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#10
RE: I am a Christian Atheist... what? Help.
OP, I went through a period of years after I lost my faith where I went through all the different methods of woo before I finally learnt that reason produces the most reliable results.

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