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So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

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So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby Courtney09 » 08 Aug 2012, 21:58

I grew up baptist. I haven't gone to church every Sunday of my life, but I have gone a lot. I struggled with my faith for years, asking myself all the questions on this site, and I almost abandoned my faith a few times. But I always ended up shelving the questions for fear of everlasting hell. My theory was, I'd rather believe and be right, than not believe and be wrong. Then, Jehovah's witnesses came to my door and they almost had me convinced they had it right. Of course my church had me believing it was god's way of telling me to read my bible. So for awhile I immersed myself in my bible. Then the questions came back.

Recently I told my sister that if I knew more about science I would probably be an Atheist. Of course, that led me to google. I found this site, among many others, and after reading every article in the "Debunking Christian" section of this site, I'm not sure where it leaves me. I'm not ready to call myself an Atheist, I think I still believe there is a god, I'm just not sure I believe in the bible version. Am I then, Agnostic? I still have to look that up, but it's my general understanding that they believe there is a deity, but don't commit to one or the other version? Where do I go from here in terms of theology? What did/would you do? What about my kids? If I turn away from organized religion, I can't very well send them to Sunday school, right?
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 09 Aug 2012, 01:07

Courtney09 wrote:...after reading every article in the "Debunking Christian" section of this site, I'm not sure where it leaves me. I'm not ready to call myself an Atheist, I think I still believe there is a god, I'm just not sure I believe in the bible version. Am I then, Agnostic?

First of all, welcome to the forums. As for what you are as far as religion is concerned, why try and put a label on it? I also "think" that I believe there is a god but certainly not the typical version described by most religions.

Courtney09 wrote:I still have to look that up, but it's my general understanding that they believe there is a deity, but don't commit to one or the other version? Where do I go from here in terms of theology? What did/would you do?

I did a bit of reading and after more confusion, I decided to wing it. What beliefs I feel comfortable with, I kept and those that didn't seem to make any sense to me I threw out the window.

Courtney09 wrote:What about my kids? If I turn away from organized religion, I can't very well send them to Sunday school, right?

Why not? Obviously you were raised with religion and was able to form your own opinions, so will they. The best that you can do is give them a starting point and allow them to question things for themselves.
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 10 Aug 2012, 04:54

Why commit yourself to "final answers" in spirituality when the best evidence is no one knows? "Atheist", "Theist" "agnostic" are terms with many meanings, and not all apply to every world view. Evenin the West,many Jews have no convictions concerning the reality of God, but send their kids to synagogues etc for the cultural values. For those purposes, I suggest you try Unitarians. Some of the worst experiences of my childhood came thru being sent to a Fundy Sunday school for reasons having more to do with Dad's career than his convictions. Personally, I call myseslf an agnostic, which leaves me free to examine all theories, and take what is useful from any. Welcome to the world of the individual.
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby ProfWag » 10 Aug 2012, 21:21

Courtney09 wrote:I think I still believe there is a god, I'm just not sure I believe in the bible version. Am I then, Agnostic?

According to Merriam-Webster:

Definition of AGNOSTIC
1: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>


So, it sounds to me that you could be agnostic...
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby Courtney09 » 10 Aug 2012, 22:43

Thanks for all of the responses :) I don't necessarily want to put a label on it, I just need to sort of figure out search terms in my exploration of theology. I can identify some with Unitarian, but I'm confused about their view on Jesus....He was a prophet, but not a man-god? I don't understand how a person can say they follow the teachings of Jesus, but disregard things he said...I have done a lot of research over the past few days, and have been drawing the conclusion that Jesus was a false prophet. And then I went and read about why the Jewish people don't believe in Jesus, and it makes perfect sense.

So at this point, I guess I am either a Theist, or Agnostic, and I'm going to look into evolution (because I apparently didn't pay attention in grade school), and go from there. I know it's a decision I don't have to make in a day, but it's all very fascinating to me. Leaving Christianity has given me a sense of freedom. Now I am soaking up everything I can get my hands on. :)
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 11 Aug 2012, 02:18

Courtney09 wrote:I know it's a decision I don't have to make in a day, but it's all very fascinating to me. Leaving Christianity has given me a sense of freedom. Now I am soaking up everything I can get my hands on. :)

Do a search on "Craig Browning", he is a member here. I particularly like his insight when it comes to religion.
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby ProfWag » 11 Aug 2012, 04:42

Courtney09 wrote: I can identify some with Unitarian, but I'm confused about their view on Jesus....He was a prophet, but not a man-god?

ironically I attended a Unitarian service just before Christmas and the first thing the "preacher" said was that the birth of Christ is a myth. I was a little shocked, but happy to see I wasn't alone in my thoughts.
I sincerely applaud your research into religion courtney09. Keep in mind that once you decide on what to believe, you will find that 6 billion other people will tell you you'e wrong and that what they believe is right--even though almost all of those 6 billion people will each have their own views. No two people in the world really believe in exactly the same thing (except maybe those of us that believe we are born, live, and die and that's pretty much all there is). Enjoy your research and be confident with what you find.

P.S. As usual, NinjaPuppy is right, Craig does have some very insightful posts on religion...
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 11 Aug 2012, 06:09

Courtney09 wrote:Thanks for all of the responses :) I don't necessarily want to put a label on it, I just need to sort of figure out search terms in my exploration of theology. I can identify some with Unitarian, but I'm confused about their view on Jesus....He was a prophet, but not a man-god? I don't understand how a person can say they follow the teachings of Jesus, but disregard things he said...I have done a lot of research over the past few days, and have been drawing the conclusion that Jesus was a false prophet. And then I went and read about why the Jewish people don't believe in Jesus, and it makes perfect sense.

So at this point, I guess I am either a Theist, or Agnostic, and I'm going to look into evolution (because I apparently didn't pay attention in grade school), and go from there. I know it's a decision I don't have to make in a day, but it's all very fascinating to me. Leaving Christianity has given me a sense of freedom. Now I am soaking up everything I can get my hands on. :)



Part of my family were conversos, pig-eaters, cryptojews, so that is an angle I have looked at Yeshua from. My own conclusion is that Yeshua was a descendent of David and thought he was Messiah, and Saul of Tarsus was a narc who saw a good thing and mad e a pile of money by saying a thoroughly essene rabbi was a god set out to detroy the law. Re Unitarians, they are Christians in the snse Gandhians are follwers of Gandhi. Calling oneself a Christian should not involve having to believe YWHWH raped a chil in order to kill himself for all makind. It should just mean living in a kingdon where the law written on the heart is the Golden Rule, but what do I know? I am an apikoros and a Buddhist who hallucinates.

So I recommend the works of Hyam MacCoby if you are interested in how a fringe Jewish cultist became a gun-toting Aryan god. Also, The "Ebionite Community" has a website for reconstructionist, and the articles there are informative. People are a pack of Pharisees, but hey, that goes with the territory.
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby Courtney09 » 11 Aug 2012, 07:33

Thanks again :) The name Craig Browning sounds familiar, but I think I may just be confusing it with an article I read recently. I think I will have to just prepare myself for those people who tell me I am wrong. :) I don't like to be caught off guard having to defend my position in something.

I have a (stupid?) question.....If I believe in spirits, does that mean I automatically believe there is an afterlife...by default?
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 11 Aug 2012, 22:34

Courtney09 wrote:I have a (stupid?) question.....If I believe in spirits, does that mean I automatically believe there is an afterlife...by default?

I think that this is a most excellent question actually.

IMO, it's like we start at some point in time and occupy various "shells". WE don't die, the body that we occupy just gives out and we sort of hang around waiting for what we consider the right time to go back and do it again. Each return is supposed to be a learning lesson and when we finally "get it", we can start to have some fun on a different sort of dimension. That's just my two cents.
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby Courtney09 » 12 Aug 2012, 01:17

See, I haven't read too much into the paranormal part of things, but I always wondered if death was sort of like when you go to sleep, except you don't dream, and you don't wake up. I was reading somewhere where somebody said that you can't have any consciousness because that's related directly to the brain, or something to that effect. I don't believe that we all go somewhere where we live happily ever after with our relatives, but our energy has to hang around, right?
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Re: So....Where does it leave me? Deconverting?

Postby really? » 12 Aug 2012, 06:23

Courtney09 wrote:See, I haven't read too much into the paranormal part of things, but I always wondered if death was sort of like when you go to sleep, except you don't dream, and you don't wake up. I was reading somewhere where somebody said that you can't have any consciousness because that's related directly to the brain, or something to that effect. I don't believe that we all go somewhere where we live happily ever after with our relatives, but our energy has to hang around, right?


I've seen many people express this same idea on forums just like this one. But that's where it stops. No one I've seen has explained how this energy can remain in a cohesive form after death. All energy disperses and becomes weaker and weaker quickly.
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