The Pain Of Deconversion
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
26-11-2012, 03:04 PM
The Pain Of Deconversion
I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like onedream's post
26-11-2012, 03:19 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
this should probably be moved to the "Recovering from Religion" section.

apart from that,sorry to hear, it's such a painful process for you. But you know, it is a phase, and at some point you will be done grieving and you will move on, and guess what > you will appreciate your, this one and only, life much more than you did before Smile You will truly live Smile
*offering some chocolate for comfort*

[Image: 69p7qx.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Leela's post
26-11-2012, 03:28 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
I used to be scared of death. It's all implanted in us. They talk of death like it's this terrifying thing. It's kinda scary, no lie, but it's not so scary we've gotta spend our lives waiting for the end. Instead of focusing on the loss, focus on the gain. You live for *you* now. Good that you do flows from *you*. Beauty is there to be enjoyed. If something is forbidden, it's not by some random rule, but by your own conscience. Just go with the flow. Don't put pressure on yourself. Be scared, be sad - it's allowed. It's a scary place to be.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like morondog's post
26-11-2012, 03:31 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
Realize that the shift in your thinking doesn't have to be limited to your faith. There are a few things I would encourage you to think about. These are the things that I came to realize as an atheist, and they make me really happy. Your results may vary...

1. You don't know what will happen when you die. There may actually be a new existence we don't understand. You may become energy. Your consciousness may go somewhere. Or you may cease to exist. It doesn't matter. Enjoy not having the answer. You don't worry about all the time prior to your existence, do you? So why worry about the time after your existence? Enjoy today!

2. You are very, very, very lucky to exist. Maybe you're healthy, too, and live in a free country. Take advantage of your time here. Be fearless.

3. You may feel like you don't matter. You do. You matter to other people. You matter to your family and friends. Your post may matter to someone else grappling with their beliefs. You can make a difference in other people's lives, and that matters. Donate to charity. Volunteer. Work on being a better person for the sake of humanity.

4. You used to believe that some of your loved ones would spend eternity suffering in hell. You don't have to believe that anymore.

5. You don't have to stop believing in the possibility of anything. Your religion was created thousands of years ago by a primitive people. When you started to dig deeper, it fell apart. This doesn't mean that the supernatural doesn't exist. It doesn't mean there aren't other dimensions, or gods, or fantastical places. It means that you are starting to think for yourself and demand a higher standard of proof. That's all.

I hope some of this helps. Good luck on your journey.

...it would rather be a man... [who] plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them with aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like guitar_nut's post
26-11-2012, 03:31 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.
I've been some flavor of unbeliever most of my life, so I can't provide any experience that's directly analogous. Instead, I'll provide something that's slightly analogous. There's a mild difference in kind, and a huge difference in degree. I don't mean to offend with the latter; again, this is only barely analogous.

As a child, I never wanted to have children. Never wanted to be a father. I didn't see the attraction in changing diapers or being spit up on or chasing around after an 8-yr old who'd rather destroy the house than clean it up. This changed when I was 19, because of a dream.

In this dream, I had a daughter. It was incoherent, like most dreams are, but it was like a montage or sampling of what parent life might be. Mostly it was playing janitor or nurse or chauffeur at different stages of her life. I got to see her growing, maturing. And like quite a few dreams, this one had a very, very strong emotional content. Love, and pride. I was very, very proud of her, so much that I could almost cry.

Then I woke up. And I almost cried again, with the realization that she was dead. Worse, in a way: she had never existed in the first place.

I tried to get back to sleep, but I'd already had a full night and my body was energized and eager to go through the day. But more than anything, my heart wanted to go back to that dream. So I kept trying to get back to sleep, and a couple hours later I did. I deliberately skipped classes to do so.

And I dreamed something else instead, some minor-nightmare about being late for classes and not having an assignment I'd never heard of ready to turn in. Once I'd woken up from the dream, I could not dream the same dream again.

You say that you might retain faith and remain Christian because you choose to. You should brace yourself for the possibility that you might not have that choice. Or, put it another way, just because you consciously choose to believe doesn't mean you'll actually believe, because belief isn't always a conscious decision. (Point of discussion for another thread: Is it ever?)

The feeling of loss from that dream has faded over time, of course. It changed me greatly. I want children now, very much, and have ever since that night. But I don't get choked up over my imaginary daughter any more, she doesn't dominate my thoughts like she did for a week after the dream, I hardly ever think of the dream unless something relevant comes up. I know that if I ever do have a daughter, she will be nothing like the one in a dream. But I'm eager to have one at some point.

So I can tell you -- or at least suggest to you -- that the pain and loss you feel will also fade over time. You can come away with good memories of your time as a Christian, of the feeling you had, and turn that all into a positive. Waking up may have been painful, but the pain is temporary.

As for death, every story has an end. I won't talk about preservation of a spirit or consciousness beyond death; most atheists reject this, but it's not really the variable by which atheism is measured. Aim for a long, full, and complete life, like a long day, and when everything you've wanted to do is done, when you've done a satisfactory job of life, look at death as going to sleep after a long day of exhausting but rewarding work. Don't insist on an unobtainable or uncertain "forever" when "long enough" can be quite rewarding and much more obtainable. If it turns into forever, bully for you. But aim for long enough.

Warning Labels: Long-winded. Twisted sense of humor (including puns, literalisms, absurdisms, all complicated by sarcasm and deadpan delivery). Contrarian. Do not combine with high quantities of sugar, acid (corrosive or hallucinogenic), or people who take themselves too seriously.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Reltzik's post
26-11-2012, 03:52 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

2 years is a long time. I bet it's been 2 years of resisting what you already knew - sometime back there (maybe even before these last 2 years, maybe even decades before, buried deep in your subconscious, denied by your very own brain, you began to disbelieve. Or maybe the first time was, in fact, 2 years ago. Whenever it was, at some point, some dark, secret, unwanted depths of your psyche realized it's all just fantasy and since that day, you've been a non-believer. Since that day, your conscious mind, and maybe even your subconscious too, has been trying to bury that non-believing part of you, fighting it, denying it, hiding from it - but it hasn't gone away.

It's still there, and it's still right. Denying it is just like a child clinging to his belief that Dumbo the Elephant is real. I don't mean that to be insulting, obviously religion is a much more serious, more mature belief system. But the process of clinging to something, wising for it to be true, refusing to let go, while all the time you know, deep down, that it really isn't true - it's the same process that the child is going through, only on a much more sophisticated level.

(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

How can you do that? You either believe, or you don't. If you don't, then wanting to be Christian won't make you believe. Belief doesn't work like that.

If you don't believe, then you can still go to church, still hang out with Christians, still tell them that you believe. You can still pretend. But you can't believe what you don't believe. You can't really have faith in fiction, not when you know it's fiction.

So what you meant to say was "That's the only reason for pretending to have faith so I can go through the rituals and hang out with my friends who I want in my life" - or something like that?

(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

The sadness is because you're still fighting it. You still want Dumbo to be able to fly. You still want Jesus to take care of you. Both are fiction, and you know it, but you won't let go of one of them. This refusal to accept the reality that you know to be true is the root of your pain.

I submit that if you kick Jesus out of your life, for once and for good, if you truly recognize what you know to be true and stop fighting it, that you won't have that pain anymore. No fear, no terror, no deep sadness, no desperation. Just the strange sense of exhilaration.

Not having faith is not a cause for sadness. Be sad that you wasted so many years on it - you can't get that back. But rejoice that you don't have to waste any more time. Rejoice in the liberation of knowing what's real and what's fantasy. Rejoice that you have finally found the real meaning of life and then rejoice in living it.

That's what you should be feeling.

But you won't get there until you stop fighting reality. Stop fighting what you know to be true. Stop trying to flap your ears and fly. Stop clinging to iron-age mythology to comfort you through the night.

You're already 99% of the way there. You don't believe. You don't have that faith anymore. You already know that Dumbo isn't real. Now just accept what you already know to be true.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Aseptic Skeptic's post
26-11-2012, 04:01 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
Great post. And very comforting. Thank you.


(26-11-2012 03:31 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  Realize that the shift in your thinking doesn't have to be limited to your faith. There are a few things I would encourage you to think about. These are the things that I came to realize as an atheist, and they make me really happy. Your results may vary...

1. You don't know what will happen when you die. There may actually be a new existence we don't understand. You may become energy. Your consciousness may go somewhere. Or you may cease to exist. It doesn't matter. Enjoy not having the answer. You don't worry about all the time prior to your existence, do you? So why worry about the time after your existence? Enjoy today!

2. You are very, very, very lucky to exist. Maybe you're healthy, too, and live in a free country. Take advantage of your time here. Be fearless.

3. You may feel like you don't matter. You do. You matter to other people. You matter to your family and friends. Your post may matter to someone else grappling with their beliefs. You can make a difference in other people's lives, and that matters. Donate to charity. Volunteer. Work on being a better person for the sake of humanity.

4. You used to believe that some of your loved ones would spend eternity suffering in hell. You don't have to believe that anymore.

5. You don't have to stop believing in the possibility of anything. Your religion was created thousands of years ago by a primitive people. When you started to dig deeper, it fell apart. This doesn't mean that the supernatural doesn't exist. It doesn't mean there aren't other dimensions, or gods, or fantastical places. It means that you are starting to think for yourself and demand a higher standard of proof. That's all.

I hope some of this helps. Good luck on your journey.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-11-2012, 04:02 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
Also a great post. Good stuff and good advice. Thank you.


(26-11-2012 03:31 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.
I've been some flavor of unbeliever most of my life, so I can't provide any experience that's directly analogous. Instead, I'll provide something that's slightly analogous. There's a mild difference in kind, and a huge difference in degree. I don't mean to offend with the latter; again, this is only barely analogous.

As a child, I never wanted to have children. Never wanted to be a father. I didn't see the attraction in changing diapers or being spit up on or chasing around after an 8-yr old who'd rather destroy the house than clean it up. This changed when I was 19, because of a dream.

In this dream, I had a daughter. It was incoherent, like most dreams are, but it was like a montage or sampling of what parent life might be. Mostly it was playing janitor or nurse or chauffeur at different stages of her life. I got to see her growing, maturing. And like quite a few dreams, this one had a very, very strong emotional content. Love, and pride. I was very, very proud of her, so much that I could almost cry.

Then I woke up. And I almost cried again, with the realization that she was dead. Worse, in a way: she had never existed in the first place.

I tried to get back to sleep, but I'd already had a full night and my body was energized and eager to go through the day. But more than anything, my heart wanted to go back to that dream. So I kept trying to get back to sleep, and a couple hours later I did. I deliberately skipped classes to do so.

And I dreamed something else instead, some minor-nightmare about being late for classes and not having an assignment I'd never heard of ready to turn in. Once I'd woken up from the dream, I could not dream the same dream again.

You say that you might retain faith and remain Christian because you choose to. You should brace yourself for the possibility that you might not have that choice. Or, put it another way, just because you consciously choose to believe doesn't mean you'll actually believe, because belief isn't always a conscious decision. (Point of discussion for another thread: Is it ever?)

The feeling of loss from that dream has faded over time, of course. It changed me greatly. I want children now, very much, and have ever since that night. But I don't get choked up over my imaginary daughter any more, she doesn't dominate my thoughts like she did for a week after the dream, I hardly ever think of the dream unless something relevant comes up. I know that if I ever do have a daughter, she will be nothing like the one in a dream. But I'm eager to have one at some point.

So I can tell you -- or at least suggest to you -- that the pain and loss you feel will also fade over time. You can come away with good memories of your time as a Christian, of the feeling you had, and turn that all into a positive. Waking up may have been painful, but the pain is temporary.

As for death, every story has an end. I won't talk about preservation of a spirit or consciousness beyond death; most atheists reject this, but it's not really the variable by which atheism is measured. Aim for a long, full, and complete life, like a long day, and when everything you've wanted to do is done, when you've done a satisfactory job of life, look at death as going to sleep after a long day of exhausting but rewarding work. Don't insist on an unobtainable or uncertain "forever" when "long enough" can be quite rewarding and much more obtainable. If it turns into forever, bully for you. But aim for long enough.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-11-2012, 04:04 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
You're right. It would be pretending.


(26-11-2012 03:52 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

2 years is a long time. I bet it's been 2 years of resisting what you already knew - sometime back there (maybe even before these last 2 years, maybe even decades before, buried deep in your subconscious, denied by your very own brain, you began to disbelieve. Or maybe the first time was, in fact, 2 years ago. Whenever it was, at some point, some dark, secret, unwanted depths of your psyche realized it's all just fantasy and since that day, you've been a non-believer. Since that day, your conscious mind, and maybe even your subconscious too, has been trying to bury that non-believing part of you, fighting it, denying it, hiding from it - but it hasn't gone away.

It's still there, and it's still right. Denying it is just like a child clinging to his belief that Dumbo the Elephant is real. I don't mean that to be insulting, obviously religion is a much more serious, more mature belief system. But the process of clinging to something, wising for it to be true, refusing to let go, while all the time you know, deep down, that it really isn't true - it's the same process that the child is going through, only on a much more sophisticated level.

(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

How can you do that? You either believe, or you don't. If you don't, then wanting to be Christian won't make you believe. Belief doesn't work like that.

If you don't believe, then you can still go to church, still hang out with Christians, still tell them that you believe. You can still pretend. But you can't believe what you don't believe. You can't really have faith in fiction, not when you know it's fiction.

So what you meant to say was "That's the only reason for pretending to have faith so I can go through the rituals and hang out with my friends who I want in my life" - or something like that?

(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

The sadness is because you're still fighting it. You still want Dumbo to be able to fly. You still want Jesus to take care of you. Both are fiction, and you know it, but you won't let go of one of them. This refusal to accept the reality that you know to be true is the root of your pain.

I submit that if you kick Jesus out of your life, for once and for good, if you truly recognize what you know to be true and stop fighting it, that you won't have that pain anymore. No fear, no terror, no deep sadness, no desperation. Just the strange sense of exhilaration.

Not having faith is not a cause for sadness. Be sad that you wasted so many years on it - you can't get that back. But rejoice that you don't have to waste any more time. Rejoice in the liberation of knowing what's real and what's fantasy. Rejoice that you have finally found the real meaning of life and then rejoice in living it.

That's what you should be feeling.

But you won't get there until you stop fighting reality. Stop fighting what you know to be true. Stop trying to flap your ears and fly. Stop clinging to iron-age mythology to comfort you through the night.

You're already 99% of the way there. You don't believe. You don't have that faith anymore. You already know that Dumbo isn't real. Now just accept what you already know to be true.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-11-2012, 04:16 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.
In many ways, I think it's not all that different from the death of a relative or close friend. It's every bit as much an emotional and psychological loss. Similarly, it takes time to heal and, even with that time, may not go away 100%. Eventually, you'll learn to adjust and go on with your life just as with the loss of someone close, but you probably won't completely forget. It has been over 20 years for me and I still occasionally find myself wanting to talk to God as a source of hope and then have to remind myself how silly it is. Then I feel a mixture of sadness and disgust. A moment later I usually feel a bit angry because I am again reminded of the deepness of indoctrination.

But I do not fear death. Before I was born, I knew nothing and knew of nothing because I didn't exist. I believe death will be the same as before I was born. So there is nothing to fear. It saddens me that there will some day be a parting with those I love and then all that beauty will end, but it's also reality. So then I focus on the realization that I can spend the rest of my short life dwelling on that sadness or I can make the most of this life while I still have that opportunity. Then I look at my family, friends (or pictures or a mental image if they aren't directly with me) and I realize life is really good. There is nothing to be sad about except about those for whom life really isn't very good. It's also a bit comforting to know that there isn't some being up there who allows or causes those people to suffer so much. If there was, that would be something to really fear.

Silence is only golden when it's not synonymous with a failure to speak out against injustice.

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." --Gene Roddenberry
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Impulse's post
Post Reply

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Looking for deconversion advice? DLJ 33 1,057 17-06-2014 09:56 AM
Last Post: Doubting Thomas
  how to tell my parents of my deconversion guitarist 15 586 30-08-2013 09:15 PM
Last Post: southernbelle
Forum Jump: