Help through Deconversion
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
23-10-2013, 06:06 PM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2013 06:11 PM by Jasozz.)
Sad Help through Deconversion
Hello everyone, my name is Jason. I'm going through what I consider to be a deconversion process and its really screwed up my life. Its a long story, so keep reading for the backstory, or skip down towards the bottom for my questions at least. I appreciate everyone's time.

I'm posting here because I've found myself in a rough spot and was hoping some people here may have had similar experiences to my own.

I was born into and raised in a Christian family. My parents are fantastic, and raised me with great values into the well-rounded, loving, ambitious man I am today. I always felt at home in the churches we attended, and consider many members of the congregation as extensions of my family. I was in youth groups, went on mission trips, participated in VBS and drama, and loved all of it. I never had any times in church where I felt like my life was being run by my religion, or felt like I was trapped in it, so my thoughts and feelings do not reflect a feeling of bitterness towards the church.

The fact of the matter is, around 8th Grade or so I got into that critical-thinking part of my life where I started to question alot more, and around this time I finally read the Bible cover to cover, and I kind of realized that it didn't really make sense to me anymore.

I started to notice the discrepancies in the religion, such as asking myself how it is fair for God to judge me, who was raised in a loving Christian family, and also someone who grew up in a Hindu culture loving that religion, or in a Kiberan slum, knowing nothing but pain and sorrow for most of their life. How is that fair to begin with, coming from an all-loving God, and how is it fair for them to be judged equally on their eternal fate? There's many other things that I picked up on, but I'm not here to discuss Christianity or try to prove/disprove it.

With doubt, came my engrained fear of Hell, and I told myself that I was just going through a phase, and kept going to church and tried not to think about it.
Through high school, my doubts grew and my attraction to church dwindled. By my sophomore year, I could no longer, with a clear conscience, say to someone that I believed in God. I graduated and went to college, and basically stopped going to church. During this time I sort of blocked out the issue altogether. Thinking about it only caused anxiety (something I suffer from to begin with) and as much as I tried, I couldn't get myself to decide either way. The ONLY thing tethering me to Christianity was my fear of Hell and punishment, as well as the pain of losing or hurting my family if I became the ONLY non-Christian in our entire family, but that wasn't enough to make me want to keep going to church.

After a rough breakup and some pretty deep depression, I thought connecting with a church might help me out a little, but unfortunately I found I could no longer get engaged with the church. I joined a Men's group that was all about being a better man/husband/etc., which I loved, because I was still CULTURALLY a Christian, and to this day I still deeply value the teachings of serving and loving others unconditionally, as well as a great deal of other non-deity-related teachings. This wasn't enough to light my spiritual flame though, and I stopped attending and went back to ignoring the issue.

Fast forward a year, and I've met an amazing girl. By far one of the sweetest and most amazing women I've ever met, with a heart for everyone. However, like the other girls I'd dated, she was an atheist. This didn't bother me at all, because I knew that I wasn't a hardcore Christian to begin with.

// PROBLEM STARTS HERE //

However, one little argument kicked my life into one of the worst rollercoaster rides I've ever been on.

We were discussing something about creationism in schools, and something she said took a stab at Christianity, and I immediately went on the defense to defend Christianity, and realized I had nothing to say. I love my family, and I love the church and the people I grew up with, and I have a servant's heart, and love volunteer work, disaster relief, you name it. Yet at that moment, I had no desire to defend the theistic parts of Christianity. I had some of the worst anxiety attacks of my life the next few days, realizing that I didn't believe in Christianity anymore, wondering what was going on.
Was I going to Hell? Was there a Hell? How do I tell my family? Is this my girlfriend's fault? Is this my fault?

Its been about two months since then and I've done a great deal of reading and thinking on the matter.

I've concluded that I no longer accept the Bible as truth, and haven't for a long time. While there are some great lessons in the Bible, overall, I do not believe in the Christian doctrine.

Now, I'm facing a lot of huge, looming fears with deconversion.

1. What if I'm wrong and there is still a God/Hell?

2. How do I tell my entirely Christian family that I don't believe anymore?

3. If I have children, how do I raise them? I know that my experiences in the church and the mission field had a huge part in defining who I am today, and while I don't believe in that God anymore, how do I raise my children with those values while dealing with a family that is Christian?

4. (The Big One) I now feel like life is pointless. Recently I can't get excited about anything because my mind just jumps to "it won't matter and you're going to die eventually". I've also developed a MASSIVE fear of my own mortality since this deconversion thing kicked into high-gear, due to A) being afraid of being wrong and there being an eternal punishment and B) feeling the brevity of life now that I've started really thinking about it.

If anyone out there has had a similar experience and can help, I could really use the advice. I do not think Christianity is stupid nor do I hate Christians. I love my family and I want this to be the least painful as possible.

Thanks for reading and sorry it was long-winded.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 8 users Like Jasozz's post
23-10-2013, 06:28 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
Ain't no hell, that's just a marketing gimmick. One thing one is not supposed to be able to do, once one is invested with Holy Spirit, is give credence to evil. So what are these people in the New Testament talking about? Merely a hypothetical to pre-converts, later exploited to fill the pews. Think about it. If one is not Christian, there is no hell. If one is Christian, one is invested with Holy Spirit and there can be no hell.

Parents and kids, you're gonna hafta figure that one out. Every case is different.

And wtf, no point? What about "amazing girl" and "potential kids?" People must create their own meaning. Those that claim "god is the point" are doing the same thing, creating their own meaning, only they're doing it with training wheels. It's like they're using a coloring book whereas the atheist uses a sketch book.

Or! You can borrow my meaning: I exist to love Gwyneth Paltrow.Big Grin

Sounds pretty silly, but I wake up every morning singing about my Gwynnies. Heart

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like houseofcantor's post
23-10-2013, 06:31 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
(23-10-2013 06:28 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  And wtf, no point? What about "amazing girl" and "potential kids?"

Thanks for the reply, I think maybe I miscommunicated this point...

I'm happy with my life. I have a great job, an amazing girl as I mentioned, money, etc.

But I guess this whole deconversion thing has left me unsure about my future, both worldly and spiritually, and that's making it impossible to ENJOY the present, if that makes more sense?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Jasozz's post
23-10-2013, 06:37 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
Hey man, welcome.

Sounds like your life was a lot like mine. A lot. I have a couple of words for you to answer your questions as I see it now.

1. Keep reading, studying and thinking. The more you know, the clearer things are.

2. You don't have to. Wait until the time is right.

3. There's plenty of time to ponder this. You seem like a well rounded, loving dude, I'm sure any kids you have will be fine.

4. It may ultimately be pointless. So what? You are here with this life to live and an amazing world to live it in. Make the most of it. Life itself is the meaning. And 42.

You're fine man. Like I said, just keep thinking and breathing.

Welcome again! Thumbsup

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like evenheathen's post
23-10-2013, 06:40 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
(23-10-2013 06:37 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Hey man, welcome.

Sounds like your life was a lot like mine. A lot. I have a couple of words for you to answer your questions as I see it now...

Thanks for your reply. It's refreshing to have people who are interested in helping ME, as opposed to just trying to drag me back into religion...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-10-2013, 06:42 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
Hi jasozz

To me the more pressing matter to deal with is the search for meaning. HOC has some great points there. Start living in the present life and the not-yet-proven afterlife. You have a great gal. Someone to share your life with. Make that your motivation. For me the only way to achieve immortality would be through the lives you touch and the people you help along the way.

For your family i suggest you take it slow and easy. Try not to be confrontational. Emphasize that you are still the same kind caring person you have ever been, and that will not change.

For your (future) kids, teach them to think. Impart upon them the critical thinking skills and let them grow and learn. Smile that's the best anyone can do.

Good luck on your journey and remember you are not alone.


If you don't want a sarcastic answer, don't ask stupid questions. Drinking Beverage
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-10-2013, 06:45 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
What do you really know of what heaven and hell is? What does the bible say, what does the priest say, what do people say, what do you say? I'm sure they are all very different. None of them can even agree what the bible is all about! Look at the perfect word of god and see how many divisions there are. How could it ever be perfect if everyones idea is different? Now life, that's entirely up to you, death isn't. Fuck death, it will happen when it does, make sure your life is worth living before that time comes around. Life's meaning is whatever the hell you want it to be. HOC loves Gwynnies thats fine, maybe try that?Tongue You got yourself a girlfriend, how about that? See, life ain't so bad, sure questions are numerous but you got friends, your girl, family and whoever else inspires you and does want to help you. Sure you'll face conflicts possibly with family but make them understand who you are, if you're a good person why should it matter? You can scrap everything I say, you can do that, do what you like. It's up to you now.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes grizzlysnake's post
23-10-2013, 06:49 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
Thanks ivaneus and grizzlysnake. I appreciate your feedback. I guess its just a bit easier said than done for me right now? Its something I've wrestled with for a long time and having existing anxiety issues doesn't help much :/
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Jasozz's post
23-10-2013, 06:57 PM
RE: Help through Deconversion
I know it's hard. I'm living through the same thing. I think I speak for most people here that we are ready to help you. At the very least with listening ears and sound advice. Hang in there. Smile


If you don't want a sarcastic answer, don't ask stupid questions. Drinking Beverage
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-10-2013, 07:03 PM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2013 07:08 PM by WeAreTheCosmos.)
RE: Help through Deconversion
1. It is impossible for lots of people to believe in something without evidence. Even if you wanted to believe in God, you can't really force it. Pretending to believe is pointless, since if an omniscient god knows your thoughts, your act won't fool him. And because none of the holy books have any proof of being divinely inspired, you should live your life as well as you can. Be good to others, and support the advancement of human rights. And if you're wrong, God would be a complete tool to know its impossible for you to believe in him without evidence, and not actually give you evidence, then punish you after you die.

2. "Hey, did you hear the news? The pope says you don't need to believe in god to get into heaven. So related topic..." (lol, or not)

3. "If I have children, how do I raise them? ... how do I raise my children with those values while dealing with a family that is Christian?"
Like anti-homosexual values?

4. Don't fear death, you won't even be able to regret it afterward. And, now that you realize you have one finite lifespan, you can either live it how you want, or fight for immortality through a legacy.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: