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17-03-2015, 02:04 PM (This post was last modified: 17-03-2015 05:00 PM by WastedLife.)
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Hey everyone! Smile

I am currently reading Seth Andrews' book Deconverted and I'm amazed at how many similarities there is between what he has gone through and what I've lived through. When I was going through my very gradual de-conversion intellectually (which occurred over about a 15 year period of asking many questions and becoming quite controversial in and around the local church scene due to not shutting up about doubts I had) and then my sudden realisation (and it happened in an instant) that it was all hooey, I felt I was alone in this because those around me all seemed so sure of their paths in Christ. So it's been great reading Seth's journey because here we are, two different people separated by an ocean and yet we have gone through the various avenues of disbelief in much the same ways to reach the conclusion that not only is there no Christian god but there are no gods whatsoever. It's all one big lie.

I was that Christian. Brought up to believe (and I believed fervently), Christened at 6 months old and grew up loving God with all my heart. I spread the word to others, I went to church whenever I could and loved being with other Christians. I thought everyone else was damned. I listened to religious music eschewing secular stuff and thought the world I inhabited was not only the correct one but that Heaven was here right now, the afterlife being an extension of what I had in the moment whilst believing. The downfall came from actually sitting down and reading the Bible. I, like most Christians, only read the Bible when referring to it in church where the pastor or priest would begin reading from it or I would read it when at Bible study and generally the passages were already pre- (cherry) picked in advance by the minister or elder leading it so I had no idea of the vile, disgusting hate-filled passages that are contained within it.

That was when I began asking questions and to begin with I was comfortable with not getting the reply I wanted. I was told by my pastor to put anything I didn't understand "on a shelf." Just put doubts on a shelf in a room in your mind and come back to them if you need to but best just to get on with the riches contained within Christian life. The doubts piled up. I remember going back to him and saying "Do you recall when you told me to take any doubts I had and put them up on a shelf?" "Yes" he said smiling. "What of it?" "Well" I replied. "I have had to lug them down to the basement where the floors are made of concrete and put them down there, only now I have had to extend the floor area in every direction and frankly I don't think it is going to be too long before I either have to move out entirely and find someplace else to live or simply choose to continue living in a pigsty." He was horrified. How right I was, in hindsight. It was an either or thing.

I then (as well as attending church) began looking into other strands of Christianity including Quakerism and Christian Mysticism as well as going along to meetings of Taoists, Buddhists, Bahai's, Pagans. I inquired into and read about Sikhism, Confucianism, Jainism, Hinduism, all the isms really. At one point I had a Hindu shrine with pictures of Ganesha and Shiva on it. I would say Om Ganesha Ya Namaha 108 times a day. All the while still occasionally attending church. I then had a mad moment where I seriously repented of all of this stuff and went back to church and I was a fervent die-hard believer for about 6 months and I really felt I had got my faith back. I got involved with everything within the church, different groups, helped out in the coffee shop. I went to every single service at the church which numbered 25 meetings a month and then it happened. Except I wasn't aware anything had happened at all at first.

I went to bed one night. I said all my prayers, both personal and for the people suffering locally and out in the world. I read from the Bible and I went to bed thanking God for His mercies and love. I woke up the following morning and I can't explain it in any way other than I felt different. Different in what way I don't know, just different. I normally walked across to my dresser, picked up the Bible and began addressing God only this time I walked out of the room, took a pee and went downstairs to make coffee. I didn't feel any sense that this was anything out of the ordinary. I wasn't rebelling, I was just listening to the natural rhythms of my body. I needed to pee and I needed a shot of caffeine. That week I didn't attend church and again I thought nothing of it. It was only when someone asked if I had gone to church that I realized I hadn't. I then knew it was gone. My faith had died quietly and without any great fanfare. It didn't even make a whimper. It just died. Interestingly I found myself coming alive. The horrible black-and-white world I lived in now had various shades of grey within it and that was fine. Things were no longer defined in Good or Bad terms.

I found myself going back to church a few months later because I wanted to see if there were any last vestiges of belief but there was nothing there whatsoever. The people I used to actively seek out to chat to, were lifeless and without humor. Their eyes seemed glazed and dead somehow, soul-less is the word. They seemed to be without life. I couldn't believe I spent so much time with them, in fact I just wanted to be away from them as they were like empty vessels. I was a little p*ssed off with them because when I had left church not a single one of them wished to remain in contact with me and they knew where I lived, they had my phone number, email address, yet here they were walking across like I was an old friend. They couldn't have been nicer. I saw through it. They weren't being 'nice' at all, they were simply playing the "you're either for us or against us" game and I felt it childish.

Something happened at that service which made me laugh and made me realize that Christianity is almost certainly a perpetuation of a Pagan myth. The priest said "the son has died, the son has risen and the son will come again." At that very moment, sunlight hit the windows - the main stained glass window and all the small windows above and around the building. Shafts of light blazed through and motes of dust could be seen within the rays. Everyone looked up in wonder and one by one their faces cracked into smiles and then laughter and I heard "Hallelujah" and Amens. I saw in that moment that I had been worshipping the sun all along. The sun will die (set) and it will rise and it will come again. The sun brings life to all here on Earth and it can descend and ascend into the sky. Maybe what the early followers had witnessed was an astronomical phenomenon or something out of the ordinary like a solar eclipse. I had been a heathen all along Big Grin I had been worshipping as part of a Solar Cult. I walked out of there feeling finally free of the shackles of religious indoctrination and although I still get assailed by shame and guilt and fear from time to time it beats the second-by-second levels of controlling fear I felt whilst professing this so called religion of life.

As Jerry Dewitt would say "Can I Get A Darwin?" Thumbsup That's my story. Thanks folks.

WL.
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