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McCulloch
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Introductions

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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The Persnickety Platypus
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Post #2

Post by The Persnickety Platypus »

Raised in the Church of Christ. Never actually had what you would call "faith", but certainly not for lack of trying. I clung to Christianity like a last desperate hope. I was never actually baptised (because, to be honest, I would not have been able to answer the question "Do you believe Christ is Lord" truthfully), but did everything else. Went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, piously followed the commandments. Over the years I became steadily more liberal and skeptical, and an accumulation of factors eventually put me over the edge.

One day I decided to try out the label 'agnostic' for a while. After a few weeks, I decided it suited me perfect.

And, well, here I am...

sue

Post #3

Post by sue »

Raised in a Christian family: Dad and Mom Catholic, but they divorced when I was super young (maybe 3?). Dad and Stepmom eventually get custody of me. Stepmom is Protestant. Had to go to church, catechism, and say grace at meals per Dad's rules, but he never really discussed religion himself. Stepmom didn't go to church, I don't even know what type of Protestant she is.

Denomination when converted to Christianity: Baptized Catholic

Other Denominations: N/A

Departure date: 1990

Other spiritual paths explored: None

Current beliefs: Sorta buddhist, except for reincarnation

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upallnite
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Post #4

Post by upallnite »

Christian Roots: Family was Southern Baptist. #-o My dad never really was he just did it because my mom told him to. Neither of them go to church anymore. I stoped being a christian when I was about 14.

Why I left: I just didn't like it. Everyone seemed weird at church.

What else: I read about alot of mono-theist religions. A single all powerful being just didn't make since to me. So I started looking into poly-theism. The wicans were to lovey dovey for me. I focused mostly on germanic and druidic rites. I slowly noticed that most of that stuff could be explained in other ways.

Where I am now: I call myself a Freethinker. I don't "belive" in any religion. As I see it, if a deity wanted me to acknowledge him then he should have done a better job of making himself evident. I enjoy a good debate. I have some funny ones saved.

I like working on minitrucks. But my girl will not let me buy any more toys right now. :(

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jackrabbit
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Post #5

Post by jackrabbit »

The Persnickety Platypus wrote:Raised in the Church of Christ. Never actually had what you would call "faith", but certainly not for lack of trying. I clung to Christianity like a last desperate hope. I was never actually baptised (because, to be honest, I would not have been able to answer the question "Do you believe Christ is Lord" truthfully), but did everything else. Went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, piously followed the commandments. Over the years I became steadily more liberal and skeptical, and an accumulation of factors eventually put me over the edge.

One day I decided to try out the label 'agnostic' for a while. After a few weeks, I decided it suited me perfect.

And, well, here I am...
My story is similar, in that I never really believed in the jesus gag, but the difference was that I never cared to, never had the slightest interest in following any of the commandments. I don't know what part of the country you lived in when you were church of christ, but in 1950s/1960s Dallas, it was really fundamentalist, fire and brimstone stuff. I have heard that it has evolved into a milder incarnation, but have never been back to find out.

I have heard people who actually believed talk about the pain of losing their faith, but I never really had any and could not wait for the day that I would no longer be forced to go through the motions. Leaving home after high school was like making parole.

For a few years, I had a vague thought that god might exist, but going to college (and particularly taking an astronomy class) killed that stone dead.

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Cephus
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Post #6

Post by Cephus »

I was raised in the Missouri Synod Lutheran church and I really, strongly believed it for a long time. I even considered going into the ministry for a while and was very involved in the church and youth programs, I probably sat through 3-4 church services a week and I went to a private Lutheran high school, complete with Bible study 5-days a week.

What killed it for me was that I had friends (including my girlfriend) who went to public school and as I was learning about creationism in science class, they were learning about evolution. We used to do homework together and I took a look through their textbooks. The coverage of evolution was sparse, but it was there. So, silly me, I went back to class and asked the teacher about it.

He ripped me a new one. He threatened that if I ever mentioned that evil evolution again, he'd have me suspended from school, evolution was an evil, atheist lie, yadda yadda. You know the drill. But that didn't set well with me, I believed that if the Bible was true, then it should stand up to examination, so I did the unthinkable and I started to examine it. I studied evolution in my spare time and compared it to the claims of the Bible. It didn't match up. So I started examining the rest of the Bible and, surprise surprise... even more discrepancies. It didn't take long before the Bible fell apart entirely and I rejected strong Christianity. It didn't take much longer before I rejected Christianity entirely, mostly because I was now looking into comparative religions and finding that all religions had exactly the same evidence: ZERO!

So today I'm an atheist and more convinced than ever that religion is just complete bullcrap.

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agondonter
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Post #7

Post by agondonter »

Raised in a Christian family: Nominally. Much of my extended family is/was Catholic and I was baptised so as a baby. I was never required to attend Catholic school or do the catechism thing. My father was agnostic tending toward atheist as far as I can remember and my mother, though Catholic, was a Catholic in name only. My mother took my brother and I to miscellaneous local churches occasionally as we were growing up and eventually my brother and I started attending a non-denominational church on our own.

Denomination when converted to Christianity: technically Catholic if you count my baptism

Other Denominations: non-denominational

Departure date: Late 1980's

Other spiritual paths explored: Norse mythology, Buddhism, Agnosticism

Current beliefs: I'm not sure there is a proper label for my beliefs.

After actually studying the christian bible in my late teens, I found that much of what it actually taught just didn't sit right with me. I found many of the teachings to be contradictory of each other and many of the things attributed to God just didn't fit my understanding of him and also contradicted each other. I stopped attending church and reading the bible. For a long time I considered myself agnostic as I made a half-hearted search for a picture of God that made sense to me. I dabbled in Norse mythology briefly and examined Buddhism and many other -isms in my search. Finally, in 2000, a friend at work introduced me to the Urantia Book. From the first few paragraphs I discovered that this was the kind of description of God and reality that I had been searching for. I found it to be extremely logical, comprehensive and internally consistent. A large section of the book is dedicated to an extended narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus. This leads some to question whether those who believe in the UB are a new branch of christianity, as McCulloch's recent debate topic shows. A majority of those in current christian denominations would probably say that UB readers are not christian. I tend to agree and find that the label "jesusonian" is more accurate, though some might just call this a semantic distinction. To me the distinction is between following the teachings of Jesus or following the teachings of his followers, particularly Paul. I don't limit myself to the UB in my beliefs, though it does form the foundation. I search for truth wherever I can find it and this is why I said I wasn't sure if there was a proper label for my beliefs.

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Galphanore
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Post #8

Post by Galphanore »

Raised in a Catholic Tribe : I labeled it a tribe because I have a little over 80 cousins, as well as 20 aunts and uncles by blood. Most of them are married (aunts and uncles, not cousins) and all but two are Catholics who go to church every Sunday, my mom even has a conference call bible study for a couple hours with 12 of them every Sunday morning before church. The two other non-catholics are Jewish.

History of My Belief : I was baptized and confirmed Catholic, mostly cause it's what everyone did and it seemed like a good idea at the time. About a month after my confirmation I told my mom I didn't want to go to Church anymore and haven't been back sense. I spent a lot of time reading the bible and then moved on to other religions.

Other Religions 'Tried' : Agnosticism, Wicca, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam (Very lightly), and bits and pieces of reading on or about other religions. Never really accepted any religion though, just mostly wanted to learn about them.

Current Beliefs : Atheist, somewhat Humanist, somewhat Liberal and Highly Skeptical.
  • You are free to do what you want, but you are not free to want what you want.

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conus
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Christianity?

Post #9

Post by conus »

First, I just want to say that I am new to this site and I think it is great. I look forward to future debates and want to thank you for including me into this forum.

My former christian experience? Well, my mother was baptist and my father was agnostic but, raised as catholic. So consequently, I was raised as a baptist. After discovering that there were no Santa Clause or Easter Bunny or Leprechauns for that matter, I began to doubt God's existence :-k . At this time I was about 7 or 8 years old.

Anyway, after this I remained agnostic and not really giving religion much thought until I was 35. This is after my stint in the military when my family and I moved to Arkansas (Bible Belt USA) where my wife's family is located. Also, this is where and when I became inundated with religious fundamentalism and put into a position to actually consider what I believed.

So I began reading the Bible. It did not take long to discover the discrepancies, brutality and intolerance of this book. Nevertheless, I still tried to believe in the baptist faith for my family's sake. So I started another tack (change of course). I thought I would discount everything that I thought was not true, beginning with evolution and other religions, in an attempt to leave myself with nothing but the baptist faith. The idea was that it would some how have to be right if everything else was wrong.

Well, not surprisingly, upon studying evolution I finally had my answer and for the first time in my life everything made since, including politics. I began to think of myself as a freethinker before I even knew there were a group of people who considered themselves as such. I immediately felt a connection to these people and atheist. Especially after reading anti-religious books which, confirmed what I know is true.

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McCulloch
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Post #10

Post by McCulloch »

Welcome :wave:

Did you want to join the Does not believe in Santa group?

Not believing in Santa is really a metaphor for believing that it is wrong to encourage belief in things you know to be untrue.
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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