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Bling

I'm an atheist who understands christians

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I don't see how my topic and original post was in any way offensive to christians. I can only suggest the haters read it again with an open mind. People have been offensive to me by saying I don't understand what it is to be a christian and even criticising the title of the topic! Come on, bigger picture here! I was merely giving things from my persceptive and experience, I never said I was right.

I'm getting bored of this now!!!

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I don't see how my topic and original post was in any way offensive to christians. I can only suggest the haters read it again with an open mind. People have been offensive to me by saying I don't understand what it is to be a christian and even criticising the title of the topic! Come on, bigger picture here! I was merely giving things from my persceptive and experience, I never said I was right.

I'm getting bored of this now!!!

Well if you're going to give a title then claim it's not what you meant, people will criticise.

As far as I have seen, there are no 'haters' here, merely those who disagree with you. I repeat, if you're not prepared for that, don't start a topic.

You weren't merely giving your experiences and things from your perspective. You went further by saying that these meant you understood Christians. And yet when people point out that you actually only understand a subset of Christians, you become upset. You explicitly said in your OP that, as you had once been a Christian, you would never say anything that was offensive towards them. Yet who are you to judge what someone may be offended by? As I previously stated, I am sure many people would be offended by you referring to parts of their faith as 'fairy tales' yet you did that right in the first post.

I'm not trying to antagonise you or make enemies here, I'm merely suggesting that you put some more thought and consideration into things before claiming to understand something.

As for an open mind, I would no longer really identify myself as a Christian but I don't have a better word. Does that mean I understand them or what it is to be them? No. In fact, as you will see from my sig, I am rather baffled by the approach some of them take. I subscribe rather to the quote from Marcus Aurelius on the left <---

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I don't see how my topic and original post was in any way offensive to christians. I can only suggest the haters read it again with an open mind. People have been offensive to me by saying I don't understand what it is to be a christian and even criticising the title of the topic! Come on, bigger picture here! I was merely giving things from my persceptive and experience, I never said I was right.

I'm getting bored of this now!!!

you weren't offensive, but sometimes certain individual christians don't want anything said about them unless it is positively glowing.

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you weren't offensive, but sometimes certain individual christians don't want anything said about them unless it is positively glowing.

Thank you sweetie (((hugs)))

I understand their attitude, I used to be the same! That's the whole point of this topic, but some people have missed the point entirely!

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you weren't offensive, but sometimes certain individual christians don't want anything said about them unless it is positively glowing.

Thank you sweetie (((hugs)))

I understand their attitude, I used to be the same! That's the whole point of this topic, but some people have missed the point entirely!

Well that's both of you showing a complete failure to understand people here.

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Thank you sweetie (((hugs)))

I understand their attitude, I used to be the same! That's the whole point of this topic, but some people have missed the point entirely!

Doubt you used to be the same. Some want Christians and atheists to accept each other. You don't seem to want that.

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You crack me up! :lol:

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You crack me up! :lol:

Sometimes some christians feel threatened if we don't worship them. And at heart believe we are heretic infidels. It is in their ideology, their dogma and their doctrines. The Bible says some pretty nasty things about you and me Bling. No matter how warm and welcoming some christians may be, their guidebook, their Bible says we are screwed, we are dead. And they truly believe THEY know what will save us.......granted we are not lost or in need of saving but they are taught this. Most mean well, but there are always those individials that are just petty and mean and argumentative. Christianity calls criticism persecution, but feels free and duty bound to berate and look down on the unbeliever...at least they don't burn us at the stake anymore. Progress......it is slow, but they are getting there. Christianity IS a kinder, gentler tyranny now...I mean some folks don't even believe in hell anymore! lol.......very odd to go so long being taught about how I am going to hell..then boom they find out it isn't good PR and they just hit delete! there we go all better now! the revising and editing to try and be civilized is something to watch. They've come a long way baby!

Edited by TrueBeliever
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I now regard myself as an atheist but my experience with the christian faith was once a huge part of my life, so I can totally understand the views and morals christian follow. I no longer believe there is a god but for a good few years I was extremely devoted and evangelical, so much so that I got caught up in a cult in my quest to be the best christian I could be. The group I got mixed up with believed they were the one true church of the bible, the church that was set up by jesus' disciples, and not part of the false religions of this world. I was convinced I was going to hell if I did not repent of my sin, be baptised by full immersion, receive the holy spirit and follow the church and bible without question. I was brought up by christian parents who were in the baptist church, so I was indoctrinated from a very early age - I just believed it to be true. So when this group came along I praised god for bringing me into his true church, I had been searching for years for a church who followed the bible fully. I was baptised into this church by full immersion (in a baptisimal tank) within the week of hearing the word of god, and was told that I must receive the holy spirit in order to be saved and be a member of the church. The sign of being filled with the spirit was to speak in tongues, and everyone, even the children who had received the spirit spoke in tongues. I was desperate to be saved from armageddon and hell that I automatically accepted all I was told and within a few weeks I was speaking in tongues. I attended the meetings every wednesday evening, twice on sunday (with a break for dinner inbetween) and every friday with the young peoples group. I told everyone I knew that they had to be saved and if they didn't they would go to hell. I knew the bible like the back of my hand and got great comfort from it as I have had more than my fair share of tough times. I had to break off friendships with anyone who didn't follow the church, including family, and was pushed into speaking gods word whenever I could. I was not popular at work because I was seen as a jesus freak, but that just fed my inner martyr so I talked about things even more. I prayed in tongues twice a day, on my knees, and read the bible scriptures that god revealed to me while I was praying. I believed firmly that jesus was to return soon to this earth after a world nuclear war, started by the russians, and I as I was one of the saved I would be taken up to be with him. Then I would join jesus in the huge task of judging every human who ever lived and once the unbelievers were cast into hell with satan, I would live in a new heaven and earth with the lord. All this I was told was backed up by passages in the bible, so to me it seemed unquestionable. I felt special, I was told I was one of an elite few of true christians who was separated from the false religions of this world. I judged people by the word of god and felt justified in doing so. I was a saint.

However, I'm had a nagging doubt and soon began to question the interpretation of some of the scriptures and after much emotional struggle I left the church. Afterwards I was haunted for 7 years, believing I was going to hell and bad things would happen to me, so much so that after a 7 year break I joined the church again! I was so brainwashed, scared, lonely and vulnerable that I saw no other way to live my life. After a further 2 years of constantly resenting the fact I was called by god to be in his true church, and questioning my faith daily, I once again left. As soon as I did I realised to myself just how deluded I had been - I had believed all these things without ever seeing, hearing or experiencing one piece of evidence. Over the years I have accepted that religion is not for me and that actually I don't believe a word of it now. Even if it was true I wouldn't want to follow god as I can't stand the 'love me or I'll kill you' attitude the god of the bible has. It's all fairy tales to me now, and I am no longer scared and waiting for the end of the world, I can enjoy life fully without fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. I feel liberated from the chains that my faith bound me with.

So if any christians on this forum ever think I am disrespecting their opinion, I'm not. I'm just never going to agree with any christianity ever again, or any other religion. I don't believe the bible is the word of god, I don't believe god exists because if he did he would have heard my heartfelt prayers and not let me suffer, and I don't believe in a god who can turn his back on his creation for so long, day after day, with the promise one day he'll sort everything out once he feels mankind has suffered enough. The whole thing just sounds ridiculous to me now!

Feel free to ask me any questions as there's loads more I could say!

What are you trying to get from religion? You said that you were judging people and felt that you had the right to do this. Jesus is the only one that will be able to judge you for your deeds. You are not a judge, as well as I am not a judge. Keep in mind that when you are hearing scripture, that Satan/Lucifer knows that bible as well as any man. Just because you have someone reading a bible to you, does not mean that you must take every word that they say as true. From what I understand, the bible will speak to you through the Holy Spirit. I often have times where a verse in the bible means something to me, and the preacher will explain it as something else. Sometimes I will understand the logic behind the preachers view point and accept it, while other times I cannot be bothered to change my mind as I feel the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me something.

I was an athiest so to speak for a while. What a lonely existence. What are you if you are going to die here and not be born again? That is a path that you must walk, but I would be careful not to shepherd others away from the lord with your words. Although I love the lord now, I feel that my atheist blasphemies may cause me to not have salvation. I know the lord loves me and forgives, but I may have led a child from light and that just scares the crap out of me.

Mark 9:42

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

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What are you trying to get from religion? You said that you were judging people and felt that you had the right to do this. Jesus is the only one that will be able to judge you for your deeds. You are not a judge, as well as I am not a judge. Keep in mind that when you are hearing scripture, that Satan/Lucifer knows that bible as well as any man. Just because you have someone reading a bible to you, does not mean that you must take every word that they say as true. From what I understand, the bible will speak to you through the Holy Spirit. I often have times where a verse in the bible means something to me, and the preacher will explain it as something else. Sometimes I will understand the logic behind the preachers view point and accept it, while other times I cannot be bothered to change my mind as I feel the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me something.

I was an athiest so to speak for a while. What a lonely existence. What are you if you are going to die here and not be born again? That is a path that you must walk, but I would be careful not to shepherd others away from the lord with your words. Although I love the lord now, I feel that my atheist blasphemies may cause me to not have salvation. I know the lord loves me and forgives, but I may have led a child from light and that just scares the crap out of me.

Mark 9:42

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

Please do not preach to me - ever! I will not even comment on your post.

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Please do not preach to me - ever! I will not even comment on your post.

Way to take that the wrong way! :tu:

Were you this fast to take offense prior to losing your faith?

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Way to take that the wrong way! :tu:

Were you this fast to take offense prior to losing your faith?

It was pretty clear that you were preaching. There can be no debate about that.

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Ugly was in no way preaching, not that that is bad thing, but he was just trying to explain how people often have bad teachers and as a result come to hate Christianity, which is not the right thing to do, that would be like having one bad science teacher and hating science forever. Like I said earlier don't be too hasty to get rid of christianity just because you had a bad experience, oh and christians can handle criticism just fine, it's when people attack God that we get upset

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Ugly was in no way preaching, not that that is bad thing, but he was just trying to explain how people often have bad teachers and as a result come to hate Christianity, which is not the right thing to do, that would be like having one bad science teacher and hating science forever. Like I said earlier don't be too hasty to get rid of christianity just because you had a bad experience, oh and christians can handle criticism just fine, it's when people attack God that we get upset

If God were as great as he's made out be, it should be him that tells us about all this, not Christians. After all, if we're "insulting" God or something, it really isn't the concern of anyone but him, is it? I don't think there is such a thing as the Christian god; if, on the off chance he really exists, then it's up to him to talk to me about it, and nobody else. If he really exists, then I'd like to know; and if he's of such a character that he conceals his presence so completely as to make it immensely improbable that he exists at all, then it's absolutely his own responsibility to prove me wrong about him; it's his obligation. Well, specifically, he wouldn't be obliged, per se, to do anything; but neither is anybody else in this instance. I am no longer a Christian because I studied my beliefs and found them to be in error; I can admit this. It wasn't due to any "bad teachers" (in fact, my former churches were quite representative of Christianity today; given my studies of the religion, it is clear that the churches I attended gave the majority views of the faith). I would beg to differ in saying that Christians can handle criticism, but that's not meant to be offensive, and I would absolutely love to be proven wrong on that point; but from my experience, Christians seldom withstand scrutiny with stoicism. I would personally like to see Christianity go, due to the enormous harm which it has caused our planet over the past two millennia; not due to any "bad experience" which I personally underwent.

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If God were as great as he's made out be, it should be him that tells us about all this, not Christians. After all, if we're "insulting" God or something, it really isn't the concern of anyone but him, is it? I don't think there is such a thing as the Christian god; if, on the off chance he really exists, then it's up to him to talk to me about it, and nobody else. If he really exists, then I'd like to know; and if he's of such a character that he conceals his presence so completely as to make it immensely improbable that he exists at all, then it's absolutely his own responsibility to prove me wrong about him; it's his obligation. Well, specifically, he wouldn't be obliged, per se, to do anything; but neither is anybody else in this instance. I am no longer a Christian because I studied my beliefs and found them to be in error; I can admit this. It wasn't due to any "bad teachers" (in fact, my former churches were quite representative of Christianity today; given my studies of the religion, it is clear that the churches I attended gave the majority views of the faith). I would beg to differ in saying that Christians can handle criticism, but that's not meant to be offensive, and I would absolutely love to be proven wrong on that point; but from my experience, Christians seldom withstand scrutiny with stoicism. I would personally like to see Christianity go, due to the enormous harm which it has caused our planet over the past two millennia; not due to any "bad experience" which I personally underwent.

I just don't seem to understand. What conclusions did you come to that made you feel that your christian beliefs were in error if I may ask? I understand that you would want god to speak to you personally, as would I but what makes you think we are worth such a relationship? How immersed in and how true was your Christian faith to have a personal relationship with god before you found these errors in your Christian faith?

I have a problem with the fact that wars were fought in the name of god and such atrocities were committed when I am sure that not all wars were inspired or based off of the word of god. That is sad. It deeply bothers me. The men that twisted the word of god for their personal agenda will be judged in my mind. I try to read the words of Jesus and take that as my rock. I have not found anything written from Jesus my lord and savior that would in any way make me interpret it as an act to go to war.

Why you may feel that I am preaching to you is that we are looking at this from two totally different perspectives. I am looking at this discussion as an opportunity to help save my brothers and sisters with a few words online. You seem to be looking at this discussion as some whacko online trying to spew lies to you. I am only trying to help you with a few lessons I have learned because I believe that we will have a personal relationship in heaven together as brothers and sisters. I would never want to see a brother or sister of mine perish because I was not strong enough to say a few words.

I wish you the best.

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I just don't seem to understand. What conclusions did you come to that made you feel that your christian beliefs were in error if I may ask? I understand that you would want god to speak to you personally, as would I but what makes you think we are worth such a relationship? How immersed in and how true was your Christian faith to have a personal relationship with god before you found these errors in your Christian faith?

I have a problem with the fact that wars were fought in the name of god and such atrocities were committed when I am sure that not all wars were inspired or based off of the word of god. That is sad. It deeply bothers me. The men that twisted the word of god for their personal agenda will be judged in my mind. I try to read the words of Jesus and take that as my rock. I have not found anything written from Jesus my lord and savior that would in any way make me interpret it as an act to go to war.

Why you may feel that I am preaching to you is that we are looking at this from two totally different perspectives. I am looking at this discussion as an opportunity to help save my brothers and sisters with a few words online. You seem to be looking at this discussion as some whacko online trying to spew lies to you. I am only trying to help you with a few lessons I have learned because I believe that we will have a personal relationship in heaven together as brothers and sisters. I would never want to see a brother or sister of mine perish because I was not strong enough to say a few words.

I wish you the best.

I wish you the best also. I believed that I had a very deep "relationship" with "God" when I was a Christian. That "relationship" however is among the things which I scrutinized and found to be fallacious; there was little more substance to it than one has with an imaginary friend (the same evidently can be found in most other Christians, in my experience). It was a very long and complex process of self-reflection and research which led to my turning away from Christianity; best left for another time I think. In any case, there are a few verses I might direct you to which could be relevant to your second paragraph...

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Food for thought...

Edited by Arbitran
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I wish you the best also. I believed that I had a very deep "relationship" with "God" when I was a Christian. That "relationship" however is among the things which I scrutinized and found to be fallacious; there was little more substance to it than one has with an imaginary friend (the same evidently can be found in most other Christians, in my experience). It was a very long and complex process of self-reflection and research which led to my turning away from Christianity; best left for another time I think. In any case, there are a few verses I might direct you to which could be relevant to your second paragraph...

Food for thought...

Thank you for the reply. That got me back in the bible for some study tonight.

Matthew 10:34 - Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword.

That is a great verse. I have also read people quoting that as a problem with the bible promoting peace. However if you read the entire chapter, heck even the next few verses Matthew 10:35-10:39 that Jesus is speaking of a war of faith, and a battle against earthly lusts/possessions/whateveryouwannacallits.

Matthew 10:35 - For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

Matthew 10:36 - And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Matthew 10:37 - He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:38 - And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:39 - He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Now regarding the Luke verses you mentioned It was harder for me to make a connection with what was being said. Jesus is discussing being betrayed then goes on to depart after saying to gather swords in which the disciples reply they have two swords and proceed. Maybe a sword was needed to perform the miracle that took place after a soldiers ear was chopped off and healed by Jesus. Nothing was said to have been done with these swords as far as murder or anything of the such that I could find.

Thank you for that food for thought! Definitely had fun searching out answers to those verses.

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Thank you for the reply. That got me back in the bible for some study tonight.

Matthew 10:34 - Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword.

That is a great verse. I have also read people quoting that as a problem with the bible promoting peace. However if you read the entire chapter, heck even the next few verses Matthew 10:35-10:39 that Jesus is speaking of a war of faith, and a battle against earthly lusts/possessions/whateveryouwannacallits.

Matthew 10:35 - For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

Matthew 10:36 - And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Matthew 10:37 - He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:38 - And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:39 - He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Now regarding the Luke verses you mentioned It was harder for me to make a connection with what was being said. Jesus is discussing being betrayed then goes on to depart after saying to gather swords in which the disciples reply they have two swords and proceed. Maybe a sword was needed to perform the miracle that took place after a soldiers ear was chopped off and healed by Jesus. Nothing was said to have been done with these swords as far as murder or anything of the such that I could find.

Thank you for that food for thought! Definitely had fun searching out answers to those verses.

You're missing one key verse: Revelation 6:8

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Edited by HavocWing
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You're missing one key verse: Revelation 6:8

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

I don't know if I am understanding your point. Have you even read the chapter that you are speaking of? Revelations is a great read, you should check it out instead of just doing a google search for Bible Sword. Try reading a few verses before, and a few verses after the verse you mention Revelation 6:8.

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I now regard myself as an atheist but my experience with the christian faith was once a huge part of my life, so I can totally understand the views and morals christian follow. I no longer believe there is a god but for a good few years I was extremely devoted and evangelical, so much so that I got caught up in a cult in my quest to be the best christian I could be. The group I got mixed up with believed they were the one true church of the bible, the church that was set up by jesus' disciples, and not part of the false religions of this world. I was convinced I was going to hell if I did not repent of my sin, be baptised by full immersion, receive the holy spirit and follow the church and bible without question. I was brought up by christian parents who were in the baptist church, so I was indoctrinated from a very early age - I just believed it to be true. So when this group came along I praised god for bringing me into his true church, I had been searching for years for a church who followed the bible fully. I was baptised into this church by full immersion (in a baptisimal tank) within the week of hearing the word of god, and was told that I must receive the holy spirit in order to be saved and be a member of the church. The sign of being filled with the spirit was to speak in tongues, and everyone, even the children who had received the spirit spoke in tongues. I was desperate to be saved from armageddon and hell that I automatically accepted all I was told and within a few weeks I was speaking in tongues. I attended the meetings every wednesday evening, twice on sunday (with a break for dinner inbetween) and every friday with the young peoples group. I told everyone I knew that they had to be saved and if they didn't they would go to hell. I knew the bible like the back of my hand and got great comfort from it as I have had more than my fair share of tough times. I had to break off friendships with anyone who didn't follow the church, including family, and was pushed into speaking gods word whenever I could. I was not popular at work because I was seen as a jesus freak, but that just fed my inner martyr so I talked about things even more. I prayed in tongues twice a day, on my knees, and read the bible scriptures that god revealed to me while I was praying. I believed firmly that jesus was to return soon to this earth after a world nuclear war, started by the russians, and I as I was one of the saved I would be taken up to be with him. Then I would join jesus in the huge task of judging every human who ever lived and once the unbelievers were cast into hell with satan, I would live in a new heaven and earth with the lord. All this I was told was backed up by passages in the bible, so to me it seemed unquestionable. I felt special, I was told I was one of an elite few of true christians who was separated from the false religions of this world. I judged people by the word of god and felt justified in doing so. I was a saint.

However, I'm had a nagging doubt and soon began to question the interpretation of some of the scriptures and after much emotional struggle I left the church. Afterwards I was haunted for 7 years, believing I was going to hell and bad things would happen to me, so much so that after a 7 year break I joined the church again! I was so brainwashed, scared, lonely and vulnerable that I saw no other way to live my life. After a further 2 years of constantly resenting the fact I was called by god to be in his true church, and questioning my faith daily, I once again left. As soon as I did I realised to myself just how deluded I had been - I had believed all these things without ever seeing, hearing or experiencing one piece of evidence. Over the years I have accepted that religion is not for me and that actually I don't believe a word of it now. Even if it was true I wouldn't want to follow god as I can't stand the 'love me or I'll kill you' attitude the god of the bible has. It's all fairy tales to me now, and I am no longer scared and waiting for the end of the world, I can enjoy life fully without fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. I feel liberated from the chains that my faith bound me with.

So if any christians on this forum ever think I am disrespecting their opinion, I'm not. I'm just never going to agree with any christianity ever again, or any other religion. I don't believe the bible is the word of god, I don't believe god exists because if he did he would have heard my heartfelt prayers and not let me suffer, and I don't believe in a god who can turn his back on his creation for so long, day after day, with the promise one day he'll sort everything out once he feels mankind has suffered enough. The whole thing just sounds ridiculous to me now!

Feel free to ask me any questions as there's loads more I could say!

Wow, my life experience is really similar to yours! All of my life (except the last few years) has been spent in Christianity and Judaism. It sounds like you studied yourself out of it, as I did. Once I allowed myself to start questioning interpretations, and comparing NT/OT "prophesies" that did not line up nor support itself, it soon started to crumble. The apostle Paul was the first one to go for me. Soon the NT followed. I struggled awhile with the OT but it soon crumbled as well. I found myself in limbo wondering what on earth could possibly be left and what was the real truth?

I am happier now than I have ever been. I do believe there is a creator, but not the one in the Bible. I started on a spiritual search for truth and have read several great books. I can now look at some Biblical accounts in a different light and it makes alot more sense than Christian interpretation. The truth is out there!

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Way to take that the wrong way! :tu:

Were you this fast to take offense prior to losing your faith?

Some do seem to get easily offended and most likely it is exactly because of the type of church or culture they grew up in. Some parts are easier to leave behind than others. The part of always having to have opposites, one right side, one wrong side, aka dualism, is one of the harder aspects to break away from.

Speaking from experience here although mileage might vary.

Edited by Chasingtherabbit

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Way to take that the wrong way! :tu:

Were you this fast to take offense prior to losing your faith?

I did not take it the wrong way, it was blatent preaching and against the rules.

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I now regard myself as an atheist but my experience with the christian faith was once a huge part of my life, so I can totally understand the views and morals christian follow. I no longer believe there is a god but for a good few years I was extremely devoted and evangelical, so much so that I got caught up in a cult in my quest to be the best christian I could be. The group I got mixed up with believed they were the one true church of the bible, the church that was set up by jesus' disciples, and not part of the false religions of this world. I was convinced I was going to hell if I did not repent of my sin, be baptised by full immersion, receive the holy spirit and follow the church and bible without question. I was brought up by christian parents who were in the baptist church, so I was indoctrinated from a very early age - I just believed it to be true. So when this group came along I praised god for bringing me into his true church, I had been searching for years for a church who followed the bible fully. I was baptised into this church by full immersion (in a baptisimal tank) within the week of hearing the word of god, and was told that I must receive the holy spirit in order to be saved and be a member of the church. The sign of being filled with the spirit was to speak in tongues, and everyone, even the children who had received the spirit spoke in tongues. I was desperate to be saved from armageddon and hell that I automatically accepted all I was told and within a few weeks I was speaking in tongues. I attended the meetings every wednesday evening, twice on sunday (with a break for dinner inbetween) and every friday with the young peoples group. I told everyone I knew that they had to be saved and if they didn't they would go to hell. I knew the bible like the back of my hand and got great comfort from it as I have had more than my fair share of tough times. I had to break off friendships with anyone who didn't follow the church, including family, and was pushed into speaking gods word whenever I could. I was not popular at work because I was seen as a jesus freak, but that just fed my inner martyr so I talked about things even more. I prayed in tongues twice a day, on my knees, and read the bible scriptures that god revealed to me while I was praying. I believed firmly that jesus was to return soon to this earth after a world nuclear war, started by the russians, and I as I was one of the saved I would be taken up to be with him. Then I would join jesus in the huge task of judging every human who ever lived and once the unbelievers were cast into hell with satan, I would live in a new heaven and earth with the lord. All this I was told was backed up by passages in the bible, so to me it seemed unquestionable. I felt special, I was told I was one of an elite few of true christians who was separated from the false religions of this world. I judged people by the word of god and felt justified in doing so. I was a saint.

However, I'm had a nagging doubt and soon began to question the interpretation of some of the scriptures and after much emotional struggle I left the church. Afterwards I was haunted for 7 years, believing I was going to hell and bad things would happen to me, so much so that after a 7 year break I joined the church again! I was so brainwashed, scared, lonely and vulnerable that I saw no other way to live my life. After a further 2 years of constantly resenting the fact I was called by god to be in his true church, and questioning my faith daily, I once again left. As soon as I did I realised to myself just how deluded I had been - I had believed all these things without ever seeing, hearing or experiencing one piece of evidence. Over the years I have accepted that religion is not for me and that actually I don't believe a word of it now. Even if it was true I wouldn't want to follow god as I can't stand the 'love me or I'll kill you' attitude the god of the bible has. It's all fairy tales to me now, and I am no longer scared and waiting for the end of the world, I can enjoy life fully without fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. I feel liberated from the chains that my faith bound me with.

So if any christians on this forum ever think I am disrespecting their opinion, I'm not. I'm just never going to agree with any christianity ever again, or any other religion. I don't believe the bible is the word of god, I don't believe god exists because if he did he would have heard my heartfelt prayers and not let me suffer, and I don't believe in a god who can turn his back on his creation for so long, day after day, with the promise one day he'll sort everything out once he feels mankind has suffered enough. The whole thing just sounds ridiculous to me now!

Feel free to ask me any questions as there's loads more I could say!

Wow people are fruity . I think I fall more along the lines of an agnostic rather than an atheist. Seeing as how I don't buy into creationism at all , Seeing as how there are continents that are much older than six of ten thousand years that the hard core religious fundies believe it is . I think I approach religion as a whole too logical because Christians say that we have free will , But at the same time if you don't believe in god , Follow the bible or go to church you're going to burn in hell. That's far from a loving god if you ask me . And I can't believe how some people don't realize how nuts a guy coming back after 2,000 years coming down from heaven and whisking them back with him at the end of the world if you believe in him and to hell with everybody else sounds . It's a freaking cult . How is that any different than that heavens gate cult thinking that they would get whisked up to heaven in a spaceship if they killed themselves ?

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I am a believer and I understand atheists and agnostics far better than I can possibly ever understand theists/creationists.

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