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jypsijemini

What made you abandon Christianity?

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White Crane Feather
On 12/2/2019 at 7:08 PM, Paranoid Android said:

I was a regular church-going Christian for over fifteen years from the age of 19-37 (I turned 40 last week, so just a few years since my deconversion). Any of the older members on here will tell you that I used to be one of the strongest defenders of the Christian faith here on UM. What led me to deconvert was a long, LONG story. Ultimately it boils down to what was best for my mental health. I had a lot of self esteem issues (have had them since childhood, a result of childhood bullying), so when I heard about Christianity, I felt "broken" and so the message that I was broken echoed with me. That is the core of Christianity - you can't get to God yourself because you're a worthless sinner, but Jesus died for you so you don't have to be perfect. But I was also in a bad headspace for years, living with depression behind the scenes. One of my therapists once gave me an article to read and in it the author of the article was discussing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Link), and wrote that "the most important relationship you can have is with yourself".

Obviously "the most important relationship you can have is with yourself" is a very different message to "the most important relationship you can have is with Jesus". But in order to beat my depression I made a conscious statement - "I am perfect just the way I am". Also contradictory to Christianity. When that happened the theology of Christianity became redundant in my life and I deconverted. I don't need salvation, I am not a worthless sinner, and that attitude has changed my whole life for the better!

Thanks for the question,

~ Regards, PA 

Wow. Thank you for sharing. I honestly can say I thought I would never read that from you. I remember the discussions we would have back in the day when I called myself seeker79. Your Christianity was such a part of you. I really am amazed that you had the strength to do that given that Christ can be such a compelling figure. 

I find myself some days feeling lonely and wishing the Christian story were true and there is someone absolutely for me and all I have to do is surrender. It really is a beautiful concept. 

I find it a little strange that I feel sadness hearing this from you. Not being Christian you would think that is an odd reaction. I’m  not sure exactly why I feel that way, I suppose I envy people that can believe so whole heartedly and live with no doubts.

 

Edited by White Crane Feather
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Will do
2 hours ago, White Crane Feather said:

Wow. Thank you for sharing. I honestly can say I thought I would never read that from you. I remember the discussions we would have back in the day when I called myself seeker79. Your Christianity was such a part of you. I really am amazed that you had the strength to do that given that Christ can be such a compelling figure. 

I find myself some days feeling lonely and wishing the Christian story were true and there is someone absolutely for me and all I have to do is surrender. It really is a beautiful concept. 

I find it a little strange that I feel sadness hearing this from you. Not being Christian you would think that is an odd reaction. I’m  not sure exactly why I feel that way, I suppose I envy people that can believe so whole heartedly and live with no doubts.

 

 

When @Paranoid Android said: "the most important relationship you can have is with yourself" I think (because relationships are by definition with someone or something else) what PA is referring to is what's at the heart of what Jesus inferred when he said: "it's not over here, its not over there, because the kingdom of God is within you".

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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XenoFish

I'd say that hypocrisy caused me to turn away from Christianity. Not to mention an abusive grandmother who wanted to "beat the devil" out of me every chance she got. And the atheist grandfather (may he rest in peace) who protected me. Then I tried Christianity out for myself and found it to be a nest of liars and deceivers. That the god of this religion did nothing to cull the failures. Plus too many years of magick taught me that it was all made up. 

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Mr Walker
15 hours ago, eight bits said:

No, Mr W. Focus.

Mark 12:28-34 is actually written in the Bible. Your explanation isn't.

Self love simply isn't first in that Bible passage. Love of others is tied to love of self, but love of others isn't first, either. Love of God is first, and that love is to be thoroughgoing and not tied to or limited in any way by attitudes about self or others.

You're making stuff up. Or else yet again, your speed reading has gotten in the way of your comprehension of what's on the page in black letters. Or maybe it's your flawless memory that's on the fritz.

Nup I am using basic grammar to deconstruct the meaning of what is written in the bible, rather than take a doctrinal belief about what it means.  It wouldn't matter where it was written, those verses can only mean one thing To love another as yourself first one must love oneself.

eg if one hates oneself then loving another as you love yourself is impossible (or it would mean you feel about hem as you do about your self.

   i don't hold the bible as an inerrant piece of holy writing.  Therefore It must be studied and deconstructed, using the same tools we use to deconstruct any writing, if we wish to know it and live by it.

Looking at the bible as a whole, you can't love god, either, if you do not love yourself, because as the bible says in other places we are the creation of god made inhis image  and contin anelement ogf god within us 

Again this is not necessarily my belief but the logical outcome of deconstructing the text.

as sherapy points out This debate began with a claim about the nature of god and why that nature  offends some   and the y believe t reduces s;ef esteem 

To go back to basics, the y got it wrong. In the bible story god is love. God empowers. God asks us to love ourselves and to love others and him

. Only the catholic revision of the bible makes god into anything  other than a loving merciful, just, and FORGIVING god. 

  This was done basically to scare  people and keep them in the church  Back in the day it might have worked but  today it just turns people off. 

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Mr Walker
15 hours ago, Sherapy said:

Walls, Eighty got you on this one, of course I expect you to put up a huge fight and derail jypsi’s thread as to why you are right so this becomes all about you.....

The thread is about why those who have left Christianity and why. 

It is a thread for those who need to heal and are exploring their experiences. 
 

Try and extend compassion, everything isn’t about you or the same as it is for you,..
 

Nup he is wrong. yes this is why people leave the church Becsue they have been wrongly taught about the nature of god  

Ggod has been made a thing to fear, as in be afraid of, but originally fear  meant  awe respect and love )

so if peole left christianity because of this it is a pity they were mislead about he nature of biblical teaching and about he nature of god as presented in those teachings 

No one should, or could, be harmed by following the god i see in the bible and in life.

The y can only be healed, empowered, strengthened, and made whole.  If your church doesn't teach this, then i agree leave it but remain close to "god"  even if that is just an idealised concept in your mind  

Compassion requires helping peole understand truth, and deal with reality  as honestly as possible.  A person can be atheist agnostic or a believer in any faith That doesn't worry me.

But if their faith does them harm then they need to find another  The y also need to realise that, while it was not a good fit for the it might be for others .  

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onlookerofmayhem

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XenoFish

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onlookerofmayhem
15 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Only the catholic revision of the bible makes god into anything  other than a loving merciful, just, and FORGIVING god. 

Which version of the bible do you have?

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Jodie.Lynne
6 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

e1e03e9d43018ae29d0e38203f70985dd35e1da6

Why does this make me think of the "Hellraiser" series of movies?

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XenoFish
4 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Why does this make me think of the "Hellraiser" series of movies?

Winner winner chicken diner.

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Sherapy
46 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Nup he is wrong. yes this is why people leave the church Becsue they have been wrongly taught about the nature of god  

Ggod has been made a thing to fear, as in be afraid of, but originally fear  meant  awe respect and love )

so if peole left christianity because of this it is a pity they were mislead about he nature of biblical teaching and about he nature of god as presented in those teachings 

No one should, or could, be harmed by following the god i see in the bible and in life.

The y can only be healed, empowered, strengthened, and made whole.  If your church doesn't teach this, then i agree leave it but remain close to "god"  even if that is just an idealised concept in your mind  

Compassion requires helping peole understand truth, and deal with reality  as honestly as possible.  A person can be atheist agnostic or a believer in any faith That doesn't worry me.

But if their faith does them harm then they need to find another  The y also need to realise that, while it was not a good fit for the it might be for others .  

You are not Christian or religious,,and you don’t believe in faith remember? And, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but you are not speaking of the biblical god.

As Paul already pointed out this is Walker spin.

You are not extending compassion you are invalidating the many posters experiences telling them they are wrong according to your own fantasy’s about the Bible. I can tell by reading your posts you cut and paste, data mining to support your opinions. 

A book you are now “just” reading according to your own posts and a religion you do not follow nor ever did, and you were raised as a humanist, not a Catholic, or a Christian. 

Paul speaks from a place of a scholar.. He has demonstrated his immense expertise over the years. 

Of course, thank you for your thoughts nonetheless.

 



 

Edited by Sherapy
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Guyver
31 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

Which version of the bible do you have?

Good question.  They certainly change a lot from version to version, sometimes actually rendering opposite meanings, so yeah, good point.

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psyche101
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

Nup he is wrong. yes this is why people leave the church Becsue they have been wrongly taught about the nature of god  

Ggod has been made a thing to fear, as in be afraid of, but originally fear  meant  awe respect and love )

so if peole left christianity because of this it is a pity they were mislead about he nature of biblical teaching and about he nature of god as presented in those teachings 

No one should, or could, be harmed by following the god i see in the bible and in life.

The y can only be healed, empowered, strengthened, and made whole.  If your church doesn't teach this, then i agree leave it but remain close to "god"  even if that is just an idealised concept in your mind  

Compassion requires helping peole understand truth, and deal with reality  as honestly as possible.  A person can be atheist agnostic or a believer in any faith That doesn't worry me.

But if their faith does them harm then they need to find another  The y also need to realise that, while it was not a good fit for the it might be for others .  

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQDc01E2MvVwvjDPp75_Gk

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danydandan
8 hours ago, XenoFish said:

I'd say that hypocrisy caused me to turn away from Christianity. Not to mention an abusive grandmother who wanted to "beat the devil" out of me every chance she got. And the atheist grandfather (may he rest in peace) who protected me. Then I tried Christianity out for myself and found it to be a nest of liars and deceivers. That the god of this religion did nothing to cull the failures. Plus too many years of magick taught me that it was all made up. 

For me it was the obvious BS contained within it's Gospels. Once you start questioning it and researching other Religions you realise that Catholicism is utter nonsense. 

Sorry you had to suffer that. 

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DieChecker
On 12/10/2019 at 6:57 PM, psyche101 said:

That's s a heck of a lot of low self esteem. 

Meh, from my experiences, I've met maybe 300 Christians to the degree I could comment, but it's about 10% who have low self esteem and NEED constant attention. Everyone else are just regular people living regular lives.

Just as 90% of the non-religious are just regular people leading regular lives.

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Hammerclaw
3 hours ago, danydandan said:

For me it was the obvious BS contained within it's Gospels. Once you start questioning it and researching other Religions you realise that Catholicism is utter nonsense. 

Sorry you had to suffer that. 

It's the world's first example, along with it's Eastern counterpart, of institutional Christianity. It's exactly how one might imagine Graeco-Roman Polytheists would turn a simple house-worship religion into an Empire wide behemoth, adapting pagan ritual, arts and crafts to it. 

Edited by Hammerclaw
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DieChecker
6 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Nup he is wrong. yes this is why people leave the church Becsue they have been wrongly taught about the nature of god  

Ggod has been made a thing to fear, as in be afraid of, but originally fear  meant  awe respect and love )

I'd agree with this to a degree.

I feel a lot of people leave the Church because they feel they will not be forgiven. They fear God will turn away. They fear what they have said and done. They fear to remain will be pain... physical or emotional. 

And many are right, not that they will not be forgiven, or Saved, but that whatever pain happened will happen again. Faith is feeling that pain and pushing through. Often it is keeping steady that is the best course.

I've know "Christians" who were horribly abusive, emotionally, or physically. And almost everyone in the Church condemned them. Same with Christians who are hateful, or overly judgemental, or overly political. They are outliers. Yet the entire institution bears the weight of their wrongs.

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DieChecker
On 12/4/2019 at 12:31 PM, White Crane Feather said:

I stepped away from Christianity after reading the Iliad and realizing that it could be a religious text much older than the Bible. I also woke up to a lot of church manipulation, sales, and cult like behavior.

 

I've seen some real stupid behaviors in churches before. Rather then accept what happens will happen... pastors, ministers, priests... will try anything to keep their "church" a going concern. I've seen churches try to become rock bands... political tools... coffee houses... feel good councelors.... Whatever they feel will bring people in the door.

Myself, I belief if you lead a church... Lead the dang church. Dont try to be oh so fake, just for clicks on the internet, or butts in seats, or the worst... dollars in the collection plate.

Too many opportunists are out there leading "churches", and I feel they're pulling everyone else down as they fail.

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psyche101
26 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

Meh, from my experiences, I've met maybe 300 Christians to the degree I could comment, but it's about 10% who have low self esteem and NEED constant attention. Everyone else are just regular people living regular lives.

Just as 90% of the non-religious are just regular people leading regular lives.

That's actually what I'm saying, I don't think it can be all fear of death, fire and brimstone. I think a lot of faith is just complacency.

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jypsijemini
7 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Nup he is wrong. yes this is why people leave the church Becsue they have been wrongly taught about the nature of god  

Ggod has been made a thing to fear, as in be afraid of, but originally fear  meant  awe respect and love )

so if peole left christianity because of this it is a pity they were mislead about he nature of biblical teaching and about he nature of god as presented in those teachings 

No one should, or could, be harmed by following the god i see in the bible and in life.

The y can only be healed, empowered, strengthened, and made whole.  If your church doesn't teach this, then i agree leave it but remain close to "god"  even if that is just an idealised concept in your mind  

Compassion requires helping peole understand truth, and deal with reality  as honestly as possible.  A person can be atheist agnostic or a believer in any faith That doesn't worry me.

But if their faith does them harm then they need to find another  The y also need to realise that, while it was not a good fit for the it might be for others .  

In ways, I agree with you here.

My brother was ordained this weekend as a Lutheran pastor. This is precisely the realisation he's come to - that God is not someone to fear, but is a God of mercy, grace, love, forgiveness etc. He's overcome by excitement and vivacity in his new understanding of the Bible and his 'new' faith. He learned all the ancient languages in order to read the scriptures as they were written and to gain a fuller understanding of the Word. He echoes what Mr Walker is trying to convey here - that modern Christianity has warped and twisted the interpretation, that more modern languages such as English cannot convey and accurately translate. That yes, Christianity became a tool of control and fear-mongering for social and political power.

And I agree that the concept of God is relevant - but for me, it has inaccurately been personified into a deity that created the world and humans and is someone we return to after death.

For me, it comes down to who we are as humans and our innate sense of our spiritual nature - a common theme in belief systems that span across time, culture and religions. As humans, it is only natural to assume there is a Being that is responsible because energy or consciousness is a foreign, abstract concept. However, I look at who we are as human beings. We create. We destroy in order to create more. Destruction is a part of creating - we create chaos and nothingness just as we have the ability to create structure, beauty and 'something' out of 'nothing' (thoughts, ideas). This shows our God-likeness.

And then there's the 'I' statement - proof of consciousness. God gives himself only one name: I Am. However, this is a statement we use all the time. We don't even realise what we are really saying when we make this statement. For example, I am a human. The 'human' part is a fact about myself that I have learned and accepted. It's a way to describe the form I exist in. However, the I AM part of the sentence suggests more. That there's a higher consciousness behind this that is making this statement. For lack of a better word, it is 'the mind': the soul, the spirit, consciousness, my divine self.

Realising then the power behind the 'I am' statement, I started to experiment with it and found that it's the key for manifestation. I was due to have my left ovary ripped out at the start of this year. Multiple tests showed that something was very wrong with my reproductive organs and tumour indicators were high. While I still felt grief and fear, I didn't accept that it was final. I began listening to healing frequencies, performing Reiki on myself and whenever I told somebody about my upcoming surgery, I joked, "I am going to arrive for surgery and they are going to tell me that everything's fine, I don't need it." I hardly felt the weight of my words, but repeated this line as a form of positive thinking to calm my nerves.

On the day of my pre-admissions appointment, after signing all the paperwork and sitting in the waiting room of the Cancer Clinic, I got the news that the last tests had come back and showed that all my symptoms had disappeared. No need for surgery. No need for follow ups.

I've done it in many other cases. Every time I've needed a home, a car or a job - I've decided what I want to achieve at that point and created my reality. When I returned to Australia after growing up in Papua New Guinea, I decided that to start my adult life, I wanted to work in a music store, I wanted a specific brand and model of car in red and I wanted to live in a caravan. Three months later, I had an offer to live on someone's property in a caravan. After several failed job interviews, I landed my dream job in a music store (on my birthday!) and my parents found a cheap Holden Barina for sale, that just happened to be red. (I should have specified the year though, I ended up with an 80s model but I guess the Universe didn't assume that part). It happens all the time, sometimes not precisely what I envision on a day to day basis or when opportunities crop up and I commit myself to them - it's usually my deeper desires that are consistent that end up manifesting.

I'm going off on a huge tangent here. I'm sure you guys are becoming very well aware that I'm like this. If you've got this far, you get a virtual cupcake for your efforts. :wub:

All I'm really trying to say is that Godliness and divinity is within all of us, and everything, and is not a reflection of some personified originator or omniscient being. I've found no reason to believe that someone or something is in charge of reality and existence and our spiritual nature. I believe in God-consciousness, our unified oneness as spiritual beings that covers all existence and all life. Even rocks. And slugs. And horrifically terrifying Australian spiders. Everything emanating frequency is part of consciousness.

Or we're just in a simulation and none of this means anything. So there's that, too. :lol::tu:

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jypsijemini

Cupcakes, as promised :wub:

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DieChecker

It seems many believe we should love ourselves before God. I can see the attraction in that. But, let me ask whomever wants to reply... If God isnt acting in your life, then what harm is there in following God? Is it just Religion, or is it God, you're having a problem with? Just asking...

Also if you dont love God because He let's bad things happen. Is it just because of what happened to yourself, or appened to mankind? Because asking that someone give you stuff, or do things for you, before you love them, is kind of messed up, IMHO. Mankinds suffering, OTOH I can understand and sympathize with.

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Desertrat56
29 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

It seems many believe we should love ourselves before God. I can see the attraction in that. But, let me ask whomever wants to reply... If God isnt acting in your life, then what harm is there in following God? Is it just Religion, or is it God, you're having a problem with? Just asking...

Also if you dont love God because He let's bad things happen. Is it just because of what happened to yourself, or appened to mankind? Because asking that someone give you stuff, or do things for you, before you love them, is kind of messed up, IMHO. Mankinds suffering, OTOH I can understand and sympathize with.

Religion lies about who or what god is but I have never had any indication that we are to worship or "love" god above all others.  Every experience I have had indicates that we are here to love ourselves or learn to love ourselves so we can be more loving to others.  Selfish people do not love themselves, they hate themselves and think they lack something everyone else has. 

So when you try to make someone who does not proclaim love of god over all else as selfish or ignorant I get a little irked.  It is a manipulative ploy to allow someone to pretend to be superior and make others feel bad about themselves.  So, even though you did not specifically say those words they were implied and that is the most subversive of manipulation there is. You are kind, yet quietly judgemental because you think you know something others don't.  Guess what, everyone knows something no one else knows and it is personal knowledge, not global knowledge.  If it were global knowledge there would be irrefutable proof that would not require a scientist to explain it.

Your relationship and knowing about god is for you only.  What you do with that is up to you.  I know very god loving people who allow others their own relationship with god or what ever the other feels they need without judgement.  Not perfect humans, normal humans that want the best for everyone they meet, including themselves.

You didn't by any chance read that book I am Second did you?  My question to that is what about family, if god is first and you are second where is your family?

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Liquid Gardens
2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

If God isnt acting in your life, then what harm is there in following God? Is it just Religion, or is it God, you're having a problem with? Just asking...

Assuming that God is the ultimate creator and that he cares about us or is 'good', then my problem would be with God.

2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Also if you dont love God because He let's bad things happen.

I wouldn't love God because, at best, he created the possibility for horribly bad things to happen. If Satan/aliens/Zeus had created the potential for children to get terminal diseases we wouldn't have any problem calling that 'evil', so I'm unwilling to special plead and give God an 'out' on that.  If we are supposed to withhold judgment of something like this because maybe somehow in a way we don't understand the creation of these diseases is actually ultimately 'good', then that applies to everything and we can drop 'good', 'bad', 'evil', etc, from our vocabulary entirely.

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onlookerofmayhem
2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

If God isnt acting in your life, then what harm is there in following God?

How does one follow something that isn't perceptively there?

I have never encountered anything that I would consider a god. Am I supposed to follow someone else's conception of god?

Why? This sounds like Pascal's Wager.

3 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Also if you dont love God because He let's bad things happen. Is it just because of what happened to yourself, or appened to mankind?

I don't love god because I don't believe it exists. The tremendous amount of suffering doesn't score any imaginary points either.

Why do babies rot away from cancer and AIDS and what not? Doesn't seem like they've had a fair shake at earning god's love and compassion. 

What about stillborn babies or ectopic pregnancy? 1 out of every 160 babies are stillborn. Is god just teaching the parents a lesson?

5,400,000 children under 5 died in 2017 alone. And that's down from 12,600,000 in 1990.

WTF did all these children do that merited a death sentence?

3 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Because asking that someone give you stuff, or do things for you, before you love them, is kind of messed up, IMHO. 

Really? I totally disagree with this sentiment. 

I have to prove I love god before anything good will happen? Why do bad things happen to good people and vice versa? 

How about god proves he loves me before I devote one second of my time and/or energy? It works both ways.

I think that this sentiment is tantamount to manipulation. 

"If you really love me, you will do what I want you to. I gave you free will so do whatever you want. But if you don't do what I want, I will be disappointed and punish you."

Do you only do things for people who have proved their love for you?

I'm not expecting any definitive answers. My questions were more to illustrate some of the issues I have. Do feel free to answer any or all of them if you'd like.

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