Recovery from Religion.
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30-08-2012, 10:19 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(30-08-2012 09:36 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(30-08-2012 09:22 PM)BrianD Wrote:  I'm glad to see this forum here, though I'm still working thru things as opposed to being in a place where I'm post-religious. Or perhaps I am...I've already had that moment of realization that the world makes more sense without the evangelical God than it does with him.

Hey Brian, I can relate. I had about a 7 year process of going from total strong believer to the point I finally realized I was an atheist. Most of that period was a time of not really ready to give up belief in God, but I was pretty sure the evangelical version wasn't the correct view.
This is a good place to share and interact. Sadly, I spent most of that time without this sort of supportive community and was too afraid to talk about it with my fellow Christians. So please feel free to share, even if it's a case of still sorting through what your doubts are all about.

Will do, though not while I'm trying to sleep Smile
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30-08-2012, 10:49 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(30-08-2012 09:22 PM)BrianD Wrote:  I'm glad to see this forum here, though I'm still working thru things as opposed to being in a place where I'm post-religious. Or perhaps I am...I've already had that moment of realization that the world makes more sense without the evangelical God than it does with him.

I know what you are saying, I am going through that process now or more at the point of learning to accept truth and now there is a huge adjustment period. It's odd because I started out because I was dead set on proving that there was a god, I didn't want to be a geographical christian. I wanted to have the proof the facts, I wanted to know I chose god, my parents didn't chose it for me. The further I looked the more I realized there wasn't anything, not anywhere near enough to substantiate the claims of Christianity. I am stubborn. I was like no, no this is not happening, I will find something. The more I read or watched about the making of the bible, the history, the culture, other religions, and then some simple questions that couldn't be answered, I realized I had to start all over. I joined this forum a few days ago and let me tell you before that I cried 3-5 times a week and I mean sobbed. My husband is supportive and doesn't know what he believes but the struggle the fear ingrained, brainwashed into us, its overwhelming. Just having a place to express these thoughts and having others relating their experiences, it helps you come a long way in a short time.

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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05-09-2012, 08:18 AM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2012 03:07 PM by Logica Humano.)
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(29-08-2012 11:33 PM)Alice Wrote:  
(29-08-2012 02:50 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  I never thought you were an idiot.
I too have problems sleeping, but it is because of my metabolic problem. -_- I constantly feel hungry, so I can't sleep well.
I simply watch documentaries of science and history until I crash. xD

OMG ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm glad I am not the only dork! I have a hard time watching normal movies now lolol. What are your favorites? My focus is usually on equality civil rights issues, politics, and religion. How old are you if I may ask.

We can all be dorks then! Big Grin
My favorites mainly pertain to the issues of religious indoctrination, scientific explanations as to why we believe in God, and how the Universe began. Free will is also a really big one for me. I am eighteen.

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05-09-2012, 05:43 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
I apologize for taking so long to respond. Tonight's the first time I thought that I had to do more than skim through the board.

I'll start out with a partial, Cliff's Notes version of my story.

As I grew up, I wasn't religious, though I was surrounded by Christianity. I remember wondering once what it would be like if God were there and I could talk with him, then moved on to something else.

I got "saved" my first year in college, at an old-fashioned altar call. I've tried since then to get into prayer, Bible study, faith, church, the whole Christian thing. I've had times when I was sure that there was a God, and Jesus was watching over me, and the Holy Spirit speaking to me. And, times when I didn't sense Him at all.

And, times when I wondered if He even cared, or existed.

My life has been, shall we say, less than joyous more often than not. At one of my more down moments, I remember driving and screaming to heaven, "GOD ARE YOU THERE? WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? ARE YOU F******G THERE????" And not hearing, feeling, or sensing a response in any way.

In the church world, they say that people leave the faith through a prolonged period of drifting. You stop praying as much, reading the Bible as much, stop showing up to church, you watch TV shows that you shouldn't, and so on. Before you know it, you're backslidden. Then, if you keep it up, apostate.

I never wanted to be apostate. I still don't. But I've practiced religion for years and years and, looking back, find so much of it wanting.

One of the last straws was having a glimpse into the evangelical church world, and seeing that so much of it is a business. Churches will associate with other theologically or stylistically like-minded groups, despite the numerous antedoctal stories about those other churches regarding spiritual/phyisical/emotional abuse, or misuse of money, or pastors living in comfort while demanding members tithe and give more. Scripture twisting to justify the demand for money, or the growth of the organization, or the distance of the pastors from the laity. Church leaders who know better (or should) nevertheless continuing to be influenced by men who have no business in a pulpit or as a representative of a loving God, because those men are "gifted" or "successful'.

That is what I meant when I said that recently I had a moment of realization that life made more sense without a God, or at least with one that is distant and leaves us to our own devices. Between my own life experience and what I have observed in Christianity, it's a rational place to come to.

OF course, I am surrounded by Christians in my life, online and offline, and probably to a certain extent at work. I may be willing to read atheist blogs, and books and listen to atheist podcasts...and post on an atheist blog Smile .... but I'm not ready right now to say full on that I'm an atheist. And definitely not ready to "come out" as one.

But I'm no longer sure that I can put all my faith in a God I'm not even fully sure is there, anymore, much less expect Him to bail me out while I sit on my butt and wait for Him to move. And I definitely don't want His people to try to tell me what to think, feel and how to react.

So, there you go.
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13-09-2012, 06:56 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
It has been about three months since I concluded definitively that I was an atheist, after being a solid, churchgoing, bible-believing Christian.
Its my first post pretty much on TTA so I apologise if I am butting in on the conversation.
For me the hardest challenge in coming out of religion is learning to exercise my mental/rational faculties.

Once I started to question the stuff I was being fed as fact, I was quite perplexed as to how my Christian peers could claim that there were demons who I couldn't see who were putting questioning thoughts into my head. I think it is going to take much time to undo the brain damage that believing such b******t has caused.

Does anyone else find themselves going back to old religious habits from time to time, or still attempting to turn to god in a moment of distress...and then realizing again he doesnt exist?

Regards to you all.
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13-09-2012, 08:03 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(05-09-2012 05:43 PM)BrianD Wrote:  I apologize for taking so long to respond. Tonight's the first time I thought that I had to do more than skim through the board.

I'll start out with a partial, Cliff's Notes version of my story.

As I grew up, I wasn't religious, though I was surrounded by Christianity. I remember wondering once what it would be like if God were there and I could talk with him, then moved on to something else.

I got "saved" my first year in college, at an old-fashioned altar call. I've tried since then to get into prayer, Bible study, faith, church, the whole Christian thing. I've had times when I was sure that there was a God, and Jesus was watching over me, and the Holy Spirit speaking to me. And, times when I didn't sense Him at all.

And, times when I wondered if He even cared, or existed.

My life has been, shall we say, less than joyous more often than not. At one of my more down moments, I remember driving and screaming to heaven, "GOD ARE YOU THERE? WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? ARE YOU F******G THERE????" And not hearing, feeling, or sensing a response in any way.

In the church world, they say that people leave the faith through a prolonged period of drifting. You stop praying as much, reading the Bible as much, stop showing up to church, you watch TV shows that you shouldn't, and so on. Before you know it, you're backslidden. Then, if you keep it up, apostate.

I never wanted to be apostate. I still don't. But I've practiced religion for years and years and, looking back, find so much of it wanting.

One of the last straws was having a glimpse into the evangelical church world, and seeing that so much of it is a business. Churches will associate with other theologically or stylistically like-minded groups, despite the numerous antedoctal stories about those other churches regarding spiritual/phyisical/emotional abuse, or misuse of money, or pastors living in comfort while demanding members tithe and give more. Scripture twisting to justify the demand for money, or the growth of the organization, or the distance of the pastors from the laity. Church leaders who know better (or should) nevertheless continuing to be influenced by men who have no business in a pulpit or as a representative of a loving God, because those men are "gifted" or "successful'.

That is what I meant when I said that recently I had a moment of realization that life made more sense without a God, or at least with one that is distant and leaves us to our own devices. Between my own life experience and what I have observed in Christianity, it's a rational place to come to.

OF course, I am surrounded by Christians in my life, online and offline, and probably to a certain extent at work. I may be willing to read atheist blogs, and books and listen to atheist podcasts...and post on an atheist blog Smile .... but I'm not ready right now to say full on that I'm an atheist. And definitely not ready to "come out" as one.

But I'm no longer sure that I can put all my faith in a God I'm not even fully sure is there, anymore, much less expect Him to bail me out while I sit on my butt and wait for Him to move. And I definitely don't want His people to try to tell me what to think, feel and how to react.

So, there you go.

I think the very word atheist is hard to say, for me it still is. I am nervous to tell anyone I am an atheist, what will they think of me?! I remember what I thought when I heard the word.....it wasn't good. Whenever I would hear Christian instantly I would think oh they are a good person, I would give them much more of a chance in trusting then an atheist. I would hear that and think hmmm.....I need to watch their behavior and I don't know just have this feeling of dislike a judgment was placed on them by me. I think we are taught at least I was that if you are not christian then you need to be more skeptic of the person, how many times have you heard christian in the same phrase as good person?? I know for me alot they are a good person they are a really good christian.

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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13-09-2012, 08:11 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(13-09-2012 06:56 AM)amav.eram Wrote:  It has been about three months since I concluded definitively that I was an atheist, after being a solid, churchgoing, bible-believing Christian.
Its my first post pretty much on TTA so I apologise if I am butting in on the conversation.
For me the hardest challenge in coming out of religion is learning to exercise my mental/rational faculties.

Once I started to question the stuff I was being fed as fact, I was quite perplexed as to how my Christian peers could claim that there were demons who I couldn't see who were putting questioning thoughts into my head. I think it is going to take much time to undo the brain damage that believing such b******t has caused.

Does anyone else find themselves going back to old religious habits from time to time, or still attempting to turn to god in a moment of distress...and then realizing again he doesnt exist?

Regards to you all.

I am new too and everyone is very friendly, really the most least judgmental group of people I have ever known and I hardly know them lol. Obviously I kept good company as a christian (note sarcasm). I too feel like I have severe brain damage I think I finally was like I'm an atheist, its like a lightbulb went off and I realized that was the word that now described me then I was scared shitless. The entire transition was slow as a whole but the end realization just seemed to "hit" me. I am not comfortable yet and would say I'm in a transition phase I don't ever feel like hes there but I feel like I miss him. I did pray the other day but did it consciously knowing no one was there, it helped my anxiety at that time. I did read a article about an atheist that prays, and they had always been atheists but had turned it into more of a reflection of things out loud kind of thing. I haven't felt that urge almost like a scratch you have to itch to pray since though. I'm trying to accept it but it is hard, harder then anything. I'm actually going to start going to therapy to try to work it all out (not a crazy christian lets get her saved therapist lol) they know specifically what I am there for. I start later this month, it is too hard to handle on my own and since my family is very evangelical you could say, I really have no one to talk to besides my husband, some friends, and this forum. But the problem is besides this forum no one really has any advice on how to deal with many things I now face because no one else has gone through it, it is nice to be able to come here and actually hear that you aren't crazy that these are normal emotions and that others felt them too.

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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14-09-2012, 01:01 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(13-09-2012 08:03 PM)Alice Wrote:  I think the very word atheist is hard to say, for me it still is. I am nervous to tell anyone I am an atheist, what will they think of me?! I remember what I thought when I heard the word.....it wasn't good. Whenever I would hear Christian instantly I would think oh they are a good person, I would give them much more of a chance in trusting then an atheist.

Spend enough time in the biz, you'll see things in an entirely different light.

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14-09-2012, 06:29 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(13-09-2012 08:11 PM)Alice Wrote:  I am new too and everyone is very friendly, really the most least judgmental group of people I have ever known and I hardly know them lol. Obviously I kept good company as a christian (note sarcasm). I too feel like I have severe brain damage I think I finally was like I'm an atheist, its like a lightbulb went off and I realized that was the word that now described me then I was scared shitless. The entire transition was slow as a whole but the end realization just seemed to "hit" me. I am not comfortable yet and would say I'm in a transition phase I don't ever feel like hes there but I feel like I miss him. I did pray the other day but did it consciously knowing no one was there, it helped my anxiety at that time. I did read a article about an atheist that prays, and they had always been atheists but had turned it into more of a reflection of things out loud kind of thing. I haven't felt that urge almost like a scratch you have to itch to pray since though. I'm trying to accept it but it is hard, harder then anything. I'm actually going to start going to therapy to try to work it all out (not a crazy christian lets get her saved therapist lol) they know specifically what I am there for. I start later this month, it is too hard to handle on my own and since my family is very evangelical you could say, I really have no one to talk to besides my husband, some friends, and this forum. But the problem is besides this forum no one really has any advice on how to deal with many things I now face because no one else has gone through it, it is nice to be able to come here and actually hear that you aren't crazy that these are normal emotions and that others felt them too.

Yes...I can very much relate to the feelings which you are describing. I hope that the therapy helps you, I had done a bit of psychosynthesis therapy a while back and found it helped me a lot.
I don't know your situation, but here in NZ I have managed to find a local Humanist group and radio show which is a really good way to bring that sense of community back...
I note that you mentioned in an earlier post that you are into documentaries...I saw one recently titled "Did Jesus Die" which has really helped me in dealing with my faith...the documentary is about the evidence that Jesus actually survived crucifiction and travelled to india where he died a regular human death. It helped me to separate the religion from the man. I would recommend it.
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14-09-2012, 06:40 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(14-09-2012 06:29 AM)amav.eram Wrote:  
(13-09-2012 08:11 PM)Alice Wrote:  I am new too and everyone is very friendly, really the most least judgmental group of people I have ever known and I hardly know them lol. Obviously I kept good company as a christian (note sarcasm). I too feel like I have severe brain damage I think I finally was like I'm an atheist, its like a lightbulb went off and I realized that was the word that now described me then I was scared shitless. The entire transition was slow as a whole but the end realization just seemed to "hit" me. I am not comfortable yet and would say I'm in a transition phase I don't ever feel like hes there but I feel like I miss him. I did pray the other day but did it consciously knowing no one was there, it helped my anxiety at that time. I did read a article about an atheist that prays, and they had always been atheists but had turned it into more of a reflection of things out loud kind of thing. I haven't felt that urge almost like a scratch you have to itch to pray since though. I'm trying to accept it but it is hard, harder then anything. I'm actually going to start going to therapy to try to work it all out (not a crazy christian lets get her saved therapist lol) they know specifically what I am there for. I start later this month, it is too hard to handle on my own and since my family is very evangelical you could say, I really have no one to talk to besides my husband, some friends, and this forum. But the problem is besides this forum no one really has any advice on how to deal with many things I now face because no one else has gone through it, it is nice to be able to come here and actually hear that you aren't crazy that these are normal emotions and that others felt them too.

Yes...I can very much relate to the feelings which you are describing. I hope that the therapy helps you, I had done a bit of psychosynthesis therapy a while back and found it helped me a lot.
I don't know your situation, but here in NZ I have managed to find a local Humanist group and radio show which is a really good way to bring that sense of community back...
I note that you mentioned in an earlier post that you are into documentaries...I saw one recently titled "Did Jesus Die" which has really helped me in dealing with my faith...the documentary is about the evidence that Jesus actually survived crucifiction and travelled to india where he died a regular human death. It helped me to separate the religion from the man. I would recommend it.

OOOO Im writing that down right now!! I have a huge list of new Docs now!!! I think I have to take one thing at a time though because I am overloading, but I'm moving that to the top. Ya, I listen to the podcasts on here, I don't know how I would feel about joining a group here, I had looked into one that I found online but there wasn't one in MI. I do want to go see Richard Dawkins though in Oct. in Ann Arbor but details are tbd, so I know there is a group I just forgot the name of it, I even get their emails but I don't know if there is actually one near me I'm like 3 hours from Ann Arbor and have to travel about an hour to get anywhere secular it seems, I live in a very very religious conservative area. They are all around me lol. Hopefully we will be moving in about 2 years though just a couple hours away, my family is here though and I grew up here so part of me will miss it but I'm ready to get out of here !!! I would love to go to the east coast but I have 2 girls who are very close to their grandparents so 2 hours will have to do!!!

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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