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Post #1

Post by McCulloch »

Raised in a Christian family: Not really. Father a humanist, Mother a liberal Christian. Religion not given much importance in our household.
Denomination when converted to Christianity: church of Christ.
Other Denominations: Mennonite Brethren, Baptist, Church of the Nazarene, Alliance Church.
Departure date: mid 1980's
Other spiritual paths explored: Wicca, Unitarian Universalism, Feminist Spirituality
Current beliefs: Atheist Humanist
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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Post #21

Post by JoeB »

I was raised in a christian family, we went to an evangelical church. I could speak in tongues (still can funny enough :P ) and we made prophecies and such, people falling down, you know the drill, hehe.

I got baptised when I was 13, and remained convinced as a christian for the rest of my teenage years. I studied the bible intensely, did church work and even did some street-evangelising so to speak.

One of the reasons that I left Christianity is that it was just not compatible with the things I saw in the world (oooh, that evil world.. and their worldy science..), for example the flood myth for which no compelling evidence exists. (I was one of those "I believe the bible to be 100% correct" fellows).

Another reason I left Christianity was that I could not reconcile myself with the eternal punishment part. Especially because when God is said to be righteous. Eternal hell is just not just, not even for hitler stalin or satan for that matter. This was probably the main reason that got me thinking critically about christianity.
(what always gets me is how christians can possibly be ok with this. I mean when they're all in heaven can they honestly be happy when billions are tortured?)

After that I went through several phases of agnosticism, atheism, theism and all. Currently I consider myself a non-theist. Which is basically the same as an atheist, but less overt so to speak.

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Post #22

Post by OnceConvinced »

Raised in a Christian family:
Yep. Believed it without question, after all there was no other options given. Accepted Christ as my savior at the age of 7. But took the bulls by the horns when I was 16 and went into ministry. Genuinely believed. Thought I saw God really working in my life. Bought the entire charade hook line and sinker.

Denomination when converted to Christianity:
Apostolic. Not really pentecostal, but it had no problems with people speaking in tongues.

Other Denominations:
Pentecostal, baptist, anglican/methodist, open bretheren.

Departure date: Early 2007. Too many things to list about how and why it happened. It was a slow painful process and never something I wanted. Something I fought against.

Current beliefs: Agnostic

Society and its morals evolve and will continue to evolve. The bible however remains the same and just requires more and more apologetics and claims of "metaphors" and "symbolism" to justify it.

Prayer is like rubbing an old bottle and hoping that a genie will pop out and grant you three wishes.

There is much about this world that is mind boggling and impressive, but I see no need whatsoever to put it down to magical super powered beings.

Check out my website: Recker's World of Fantasy

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Post #23

Post by VermilionUK »

I was raised in a fairly strong Christian family (apart fomr my bro and dad. Through nursery and primary school I was taught about God and my belief increased. Until the age of 12 I would attend the Christian Song assemblies at school, until I joined secondary school.

Up until the age of about 14 I never really questioned my religion, until I came across a show called "The Atheist Experience" and watched some clips on the internet. After watching some discussions with the host/co-host Matt Dillahunty I began thinking more about the reasons why I believed, until I realised that I only believed because of what my family/teachers had said :lol:

After which, I've been reading further into religion (more so in the past year) and have been an Atheist ever since.
And as such, I have great respect for Matt Dillahunty (google/youtube him) because he really has some substance behind his opinions, and in many ways "opened my eyes" - so to speak.

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Post #24

Post by charris »

Raised In A Christian Family: Most certainly. My dad is a Presbyterian minister, and my mom and sister are both active in church. I was baptized as an infant, but never on my own choice (despite my mother's pleading). Being that I still live at home (only for a few more months, hopefully), I still attend church regularly, even though my parents are aware of my disbelief. I was a christian for 15 years, and have been a non-believer for about three or four.

Denomination When Converted to Christianity: Presbyterian

Other Denominations: I tried LaVeyan Satanism for a while. I still agree with a lot of the philosophy, but I couldn't call myself a satanist because of the rituals (which, if you read to the Satanic Bible, it is stated that the rituals are there solely for emotional purposes, not because it works or anything).

Departure Date: I started questioning my faith about summer of '07, while on a church youth trip. While, by December I had tried so hard to be a christian, but summer of '08 I was done for.

Current Beliefs: The most popular god(s) don't exist, but other than that I won't say for certain. So I'm an atheist.[/b]
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan
"Thought, without the data on which to structure that thought, leads nowhere." - Victor Stenger

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Post #25

Post by Vince »

Raised in a Christian family: My immediate family was not Christian, but most of my aunts and uncles are deacons or ministers of some kind.

Denomination when converted: Southern Baptist.
Others: It was a very inclusive church :shock:
Departure Date: I started to doubt in early '04. I was an atheist by '06, now I think the label is almost as important as hair color, almost.
Current Beliefs: Secular Humanism.

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Post #26

Post by Serpent Oracle »

My family was never christian originally, my father is a devout atheist and despises the religious as weak minded credulous fools.
My mother converted to christianity when I was about 12.
She encouraged me to convert to christianity very soon after...we were baptised in an evangelical fundamentalist leaning church.

I remained a christian until I was about 18 when I had decided that I could not believe that Jesus was/is God...I simply could not accept such a blatantly cultish article of faith nor could I accept the creationist explanation for the universe and all its wonders.
Also I could not accept that the Bible was the literal work of God.
I had many arguments with the christian fellowship youth leaders of my church in the end they simply ignored my questions...bitterness and resentment followed.

But through the Bible and other books I discovered the Serpent or Lucifer (or Satan) and gnosis.
I converted to Gnostic Luciferianism after several years of agnosticism and have never looked back...the idea of being christian now seems utterly alien to me.
My mother is still a committed christian and my father still has a pathological hatred of all religions and their adherents...but now I am a confident apostate, committed to Lucifer and student of gnosis.

I am on very good terms with my mother and we share our thoughts, she makes it clear that she prays for me to return to God but I know it is fear that compels her to do so...fear for my soul and the punishment God may have in store for it.

But I am not afraid of God, I am not afraid of Hell, I am not afraid of anything.

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Christianity (IMO) is the religion of fear and I will not be intimidated by anyone or any fire and brimestone I say again to the abrahamic God bring your fiery arrows of death upon me or cease your cowardly barking.

I am not going to wait for a saviour to come save me from myself, heaven and hell are here on earth, the battle doth rage NOW!

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Post #27

Post by mgranger241 »

I was a Christian until about 2 years ago. I was raised ELCA Lutheran (not missouri synod) and my grandfather is a retired presbyterian minister. I preferred that branch of Christianity at the time because it was more liberal than the fundamentalist churches in my town. They allowed gays, allowed female pastors, and allowed everyone to participate in communion regardless of denomination.

I used to just avoid the conversation of is there a god or isn't there because I felt I was being a bad Christian if I did. I was taught just to have faith and not to ask certain questions. It was about a year long process once I started thinking more inwardly about my opinions and beliefs before I became an official atheist. Although I prefer just saying I have no idea because I believe in the theoretical possibility of god, religion is just one of trillions of possibilities for 'why we're here.'

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Re: Introductions

Post #28

Post by TD101 »

I was raised in a Christian family, but not very strict. After leaving home, I rarely attended church but was still a believer. All of that changed when I married a very religious woman. I became a weekly churchgoer and daily Bible reader. I even went through a phase where I only listened to Christian music and didn't watch R rated movies.

I was raised Methodist but ended up in a non-denominational church with Pentecostal roots. A huge choir, loud music, shouting and speaking in tongues. At times it was a lot of fun.

I started having doubts in 2009 and by the next year had denounced Christianity. I haven't explored any other spiritual paths and am not interested.

I believe that religion is man made myth. If there is a creator, he is not the perfect, loving, all powerful, all knowing deity that I believed in for so long.

My entire family and most of my friends are Christians. They would be shocked if they knew how I really feel. It was good reading most of the responses on this topic as I can relate to most of them.

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Re: Introductions

Post #29

Post by OnceConvinced »

TD101 wrote:I haven't explored any other spiritual paths and am not interested.
I can sure identify with that. People from other religions, even ones from different denominations, for some crazy reason think people like us would be willing to look into their brand of relgion. Like whatever! If you waste 30-40 years with one, why would you ever want to waste any further time with any other? Life is too short. Gotta live life to the fullest. No time to waste on imaginery Gods and religious ritual.

Society and its morals evolve and will continue to evolve. The bible however remains the same and just requires more and more apologetics and claims of "metaphors" and "symbolism" to justify it.

Prayer is like rubbing an old bottle and hoping that a genie will pop out and grant you three wishes.

There is much about this world that is mind boggling and impressive, but I see no need whatsoever to put it down to magical super powered beings.

Check out my website: Recker's World of Fantasy

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Post #30

Post by ThatGirlAgain »

Raised Irish Roman Catholic. Everyone in the family was a practicing Catholic and then some. Never missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation - Knights of Columbus, St. Anne's Society, things like that. Not the out loud holy roller type mind you, Catholics usually are not. But kept all the moral codes and regulations to a fault. How many people out there with Catholic backgrounds know that it is OK to eat meat on most Fridays but only if you do an act of penance instead. :eyebrow: Don't get the idea that it was an oppressive atmosphere. It was just another part of life, something we all did because, well, we were Catholics.

I had 12 years of Catholic school education - better than my public school or Lutheran school friends got I must admit. That meant lots and lots of religion classes so I learned the details of the religion very well. But believing….that’s another story.

I cannot say that I actively disbelieved at an early age. But the religion was all in one compartment of my mind and all other knowledge in other compartments. I was always a devoted reader mostly of non-fiction especially the sciences hard and soft. So gradually various things crept into my head that were – “at odds with religion� is the wrong phrase. Catholics are generally not anti-science. More like just different from religion. All those compartments, remember? But as I grew older, like from 11 on, a worldview was growing in my head that put my religion in a larger perspective.

It was suggested that I read the Bible. I did. I also read about the Bible, everything from serious Catholic exegesis to the “I hate God� stuff. But I found that in between there is a large mainstream of Biblical scholarship – White, Ehrman, Pagels, Armstrong and others – that put the Bible and religion in general and how they came about into historical and logical perspective without laying one ideology or another on the interpretation. It was like the Catholic worldview was a movie that I slowly realized was a movie, not something real that I was living inside. I could watch it but not have to BE it anymore.

I still find the subject of religion and how it grew and how it influenced the world, and vice versa, to be a very fascinating subject. But it is of interest from an historical point of view, past and present, as a window into how ideas evolve and diversify and send their waves of influence out into the world pond. :lol:
Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
- Bertrand Russell

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