Any Former Evangelicals?
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06-07-2017, 08:50 PM
Any Former Evangelicals?
Hi:

Are there any former evangelicals on this forum?

Despite my high IQ, I was an evangelical for most of my life (first 40 years). Yes, I had my doubts as all believers do, but I felt a strong emotional connection to "God". I sincerely believed, despite my frustration with a total lack of physical proof, that God loved me unconditionally and that brought me great comfort.

As I finally came out of the closet as gay at 42, moved in with a gay man who deeply loved me and accepted me as I am, I had to confront those in society, and especially my former evangelical faith who rejected me and/or warned me of eternal damnation.

I ultimately left Christianity all together and have evolved to full atheism. I have posted many a commentary on Facebook as to why I believe most humans believe in a deity, primarily fear, with fear of death being the strongest fear, but fear in general. A belief in a deity provides comfort for those fears, an illusion that some loving parent will save you from the ugly truths of reality - that we are all temporary beings who are exposed to random harmful acts of men and nature. This is a tough reality, but the truth, as best as we can rationally determine.

But when a person, like myself, used those comforts a belief in God gave me, and they were integral to my emotional well being (or so it seems), it is real hard to move from that to reality as it is.

I guess I am interested in meeting former evangelicals who have experienced a deep connection with God who now reject God's existence and how they are coping with this, in particular, the emotional repercussions.

Steve
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06-07-2017, 08:58 PM (This post was last modified: 06-07-2017 09:25 PM by julep.)
RE: Any Former Evangelicals?
I fit halfway. I was raised evangelical. My father tried to start his own denomination and was a part-time minister and then full-time jail chaplain. However, even though I accepted Jesus as ny personal savior at age 5 and tried hard to be a devoted Christian, I never got there emotionally. I felt guilty about it for years, though. It took being away from my family at college plus reading and thinking to break completely with, first, the evangelical Christianity of my upbringing and then the kinder/gentler Christianity I moved into afterwards.
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06-07-2017, 09:06 PM
RE: Any Former Evangelicals?
There is a pastor turned atheist in Asheville, NC that I had found a lot of articles online from a few months ago. Of course now that I'm trying to find him for you I can't find anything. I'll keep looking though...

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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07-07-2017, 02:51 PM
RE: Any Former Evangelicals?
Chris Highland is who I was trying to think of. I think you would feel a connection with him.

He is the co-founder of Secular Sanctuary, a fledgling non-supernatural “congregation.” He is a regular columnist for the Citizen-Times.

This is the first one I read of his:

beyondgod.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/welcoming-to-a-new-state/

But this one may interest you more. Are you familiar with the "Clergy Project?"

http://www.citizen-times.com/story/life/.../96555656/

He is a gifted writer and speaker who is a former protestant minister and now defines himself as a "secular person," a "free-thinker" and "humanist celebrant."

Good luck in your journey.

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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07-07-2017, 03:04 PM
RE: Any Former Evangelicals?
I'm a former Pentecostal evangelical Christian. I went to ministry school for 2 years in my early twenties. I'm 36 now, and I'm a trans woman atheist married to another woman. When I compare my mental state now to back then- this is much better lol.

I used to be very emotionally connected to my "God". I used to think I felt his spirit. Used to speak in tongues. Used to witness to people. Used to pray so much! Used to read the bible frequently and consistently. I used to play music in the worship band at my church (bass guitar).
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07-07-2017, 04:22 PM
RE: Any Former Evangelicals?
Evangelical Christian also. My grandparents raised me, I wasn't allowed to cut my hear past my shoulders until I was 14 or 15. Took my grandmother ages to convince my grandfather to allow my mom to wear anything but skirts above the ankle much less shorts.

Went to a fire and brimstone church every Sunday until the pastor couldn't keep making payments on the place rented for the church. I was 12. Had a bit of anxiety after so many years I told I was going to Hell, had a panic attack late at night due to a dream i had about Hell. Never told my parents, I was 13. Took me all night and all day the next day for it to pass. I could barely eat anything, it wasn't until later I found out it wasn't a sickness, but a panic attack.

Told I was going to Hell for seeing nothing wrong with gay people, who were my best first at 16. When through 2 years of panic, fear, anxiety as I wasn't ever really 'Christian' to begin with for the thoughts I had as a kid. For thinking about sex trying to understand it, for seeing nothing wrong with gays, not being Republican thinking in some parts and thinking like a dreaded 'liberal' would. Was confused for so long, did I have to hate people of other religions and backgrounds to be 'Christian'?

Became an agnostic atheist at 18. Still struggle with how I was raised.

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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