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New ex-Christian who is lost in his own freedom and uncertainty.

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posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 07:03 AM
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I'm desperately looking for the answer to two questions:

1) Does a God(s) exist? and,
2) Is there an afterlife?

I'll give you a preface:
I am exactly 19 1/2 and I have been an ex-Christian for roughly a month or two.

I had always been a christian and from about age 15 onward I was devout bible-bashing. But I had a mind[love] for science and philosophy which lead me to over think things. In biology I decided that genesis was a creation myth, but that raised a problem. If genesis was non-factual, how much more of the bible was non-factual? I couldn't be sure. I decided that ultimately the bible was unnecessary and that a strong personal relationship with God (not Jesus, I thought he was a significant preacher but not the One who I should pray to) was the important thing as he could teach me directly. I also recognised that, if the bible was infallible then it wasn't divinely inspired as God wouldn't do that and then not care to protect it from distortions and that sort.

Then things got shaky for me when 6 months ago I started hearing a voice in my head (which I later attributed to God) and it taught me many lesions and wonderful messages. Acting upon the voice, I applied the ideas to a troublesome relationship I had. A friend of my friend (lets call him Jason) hated me and let me know it. 2 months after the voice started, Jason respected me, and we became close, he confided in me and trusted me for advice.

The voice brought a lot of life and love to me but it made me critical of my Church because of the overwhelming hipocrisy, double standars, and most of all, apathy. I stopped going and sought to follow what I called "pure christianity" which entailed looking inward to where I could hear God and seeking understanding.

...Then I watched Zeitgiest. At first it was so shocking I was unable to watch it as the ramifications of it being true to to painful to consider. I eventually sat through it and for its' significance, needed to know more.

I was glad to learn that revelation talked in code about Nero and rome. Phew!!


Zeitgeist isn't infallible, as I found out, but the fact alone that there was no evidence supporting the christian messiah ever existing threw me into a hunt to prove/debunk christian theology.

I have found a lot and promptly dropped my religion all together.
My christian friends deal with me with caution after one fundamentalist had a go at me and I rendered him literally speechless.

Im so fresh out of the church and so immature in my belief system that I don't know what's what and frankly I'm scared...

I realise that there is a deep seeded desire for life to have meaning and for there to be an afterlife and for 'God' to love us but it all just appears to be derived from an instinctual fear of death.

Do we believe in God because we need there to be an afterlife?!


The idea that God does not exist and that there is nothing after death terrifies me, as you would expect, and for the first real time in my life I am afraid of death.


To all those atheists, agnostics and ex-christians; how do you reconcile these problems in yourselves?

[edit on 8/31/2008 by Good Wolf]




posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 07:34 AM
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Hi Good Wolf and congratulations on cutting the ties and embracing the truth!

Please try and find this book as it will answer all your questions and more, and also give you peace of mind.

"Journey of Souls" by Michael Newton, Ph.D (ISBN: 1-56718-485-5)

Good luck!



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 07:35 AM
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Well, I believe the question you should ask yourself is "would God understand?" A just God. I believe such a God would want you to continue on in your doubt, your intellectual explorations, such as your ego/development require. Question and confront. If true faith is justified, can it be weakened by questioning? Find the solid foundation.

Now, of course, an Atheist and a Gnostic would tell you this same thing -- were they true and consistent to their beliefs. So you must decide for yourself.

Does God want a slave? One who doesn't question, or conforms themselves so they cannot question, making unnecessary any notion of 'being true to themselves'? Does the 'carrot' of an afterlife, a definitive sense of ease about this moral existence, justify submitting to such a God? Would a just God want that?

These things, they can be discussed. But, absent 'definitive proof', you must answer for yourself. Seems to me, that's the human condition.

Zeitgeist, in my opinion, was a pretty good movie. It would have been better off being split into several parts, I think. Because the various parts each required different assumptions and belief sets -- for example, if we consider that the Church, from shortly after its inception, was deliberately constructed to be a 'symbolic derivation' of early religious/philosophical thought (Zeitgeist part I), how is that reconciled with part III, which posits that the same (probably) forces are behind what we call the 'NWO', initiated in the 20th century? Wouldn't such control have to be instituted millenia earlier?

I think there's nothing wrong with questioning, either to yourself or others. I find no 'transcendent justice' in thinking otherwise. If there's no God, that human sense of justice is, IMHO, the ideal, and if there is, it is certainly one of His attributes, and worthy thereof. So you don't need to 'believe' to rationally justify such existential theorizing.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 07:48 AM
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Wow, this is a heavy topic. I have a couple of questions for you, though- has this voice in your head stopped speaking? And if you attribute the voice to God, why would you no longer believe in him? Or question his existence?

Onto the Bible, and Christianity. First, I believe that you don't have to believe in the Bible to believe in God. I know many many people who believe in a higher power who do not follow a book. Further, you can still be a Christian and not believe in the Bible, in that if you believe Christ existed, died for our sins, is coming back, etc. I think you would still be a Christian. I know many Christians who think the Bible is a book loaded with symbolism and written by man- not literally the "word of God."

I am 33, and I was a non-practicing Christian until my early 20's, when I realized that I did not think Christ was coming back. I was "spiritual" for a while, and leaned toward more earth-based religions until a couple years ago. I am now an atheist, and I am not sure what to believe about Christ. Perhaps he did not exist. But if he did, I think he was a great man with many good teachings of love and tolerance. (In fact, I think it would behoove most Christians to be more like him.)

To quote you:
"I realise that there is a deep seeded desire for life to have meaning and for there to be an afterlife and for 'God' to love us but it all just appears to be derived from an instinctual fear of death.
Do we believe in God because we need there to be an afterlife?!
The idea that God does not exist and that there is nothing after death terrifies me, as you would expect, and for the first real time in my life I am afraid of death."

So to answer your questions, no I do not believe in God, nor do I believe in an afterlife. My belief is that religion was used to explain a lot of natural disasters that science had not explained back in the day. I also think it has been used for control by leaders for centuries- through fear. Your own statement of "God to love us" does not resonate with me- I look around the world at war, disease, famine, murder, genocide, etc., and if that is the work of God I do not see any love. I will even go so far as to say that if God is responsible for what happens here than I have several bones to pick with him, because this is not what I would expect of a "loving God."

I had a Catholic friend give me the old question of, "Well, if you don't fear retribution in the Afterlife how do you know to be a good person will you are alive?" To which I responded, "You should be a good person because you should be a good person. That's it- do unto others as you would have done unto you. I don't need fear to give me good morals- I have them because I think you should have them."

I have to admit, that once I admitted to myself that I did not believe in God I became less fearful. To me the idea that are able to make our own choices and be responsible for our actions, to ourselves, our fellow man, and this world we live in, is freedom. That we should seek forgiveness of those we have wronged, and not of some invisible figure, is part of the beauty of being human. And as far as inspiration, I need to go no further than to watch the sunrise over a mountain, or the ocean role up on the sand, or see a baby smile, or a hundred other wonderful things that nature gives us.

You are only 19- you are WAY TOO young to fear death. And I guess that to me, death is an end- it is how we treat each other here that counts. If you can make it to the end of your life, look yourself in the mirror, and say that you were a good person that is all that matters. My life has meaning not because I live it based on the idea that some supernatural being is watching me and keeping tabs on me, and someday if I am good enough I can get into Heaven. My life has meaning because I love those around me, I am honest, I have passion, and I hope to leave this world a little better than it was when I came into it.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 07:49 AM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 


Right well for the most part I think I get you but I'm not sure. Are you insinuating that clear cut reality? I'm looking for a yes/no to 'does God exist', i'll concern myself with his/its nature later. I'm looking for a foundation.


Originally posted by Ian McLean
IMHO


What does that mean?

also please don't assume I know all of these concepts. I don't know what "existential theorizing" is at all


 


Originally posted by GetOutOfMyRabbitHole
I have a couple of questions for you, though- has this voice in your head stopped speaking? And if you attribute the voice to God, why would you no longer believe in him? Or question his existence?


That's the point. I don’t know anymore. It could be God or It could be me. I don’t know. It’s not like it sounds like Christopher lee or anything.


Onto the Bible, and Christianity. First, I believe that you don't have to believe in the Bible to believe in God.


I understand this, but I look at the grand cosmos and can see that God both could exist and not exist, i can see it all as if it were divinely inspired and if it were Godless. I need to know, but only now will I make decisions after putting aside my fear of death
.
I don’t believe the bible is anything more than a book of fairytales with loose basis in reality. I don’t believe “Jesus died for our sins and is coming back.”
I do believe a Jesus existed but wasn’t anything than an ordinary preacher.



And trust me, I know death too well, and fear it respectfully.

[edit on 8/31/2008 by Good Wolf]



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 08:16 AM
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Good Wolf,

Many have been on the path you're on, and understanding this alone may help. The age-old question of God seems to be answered in as many ways as there are people, and I liken the search to the Blind Men and the Elephant. Each of us is a Blind Man (or Woman) and we reach out, sensing that the Elephant is out there. Many of us have filters that were given to us or that we developed ourselves, through which we reach, and these filters will define what "part" of the Elephant we touch.

Thus we see many interpretations of the Elephant - Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Celtic (and Neo-Celtic), Shinto, and on and on.

From my humble filter, I see each of us as God, or a manifestation of an aspect of God, seeking novelty. We create that which is around us by the interplay of expectation (and by "us" I mean all matter as a manifestation of Consciousness - where "lower" forms of Consciousness have an expectation of being what they are - e.g., rock has the expectation of being "Rock" - and little else).

I also believe that many of the filters we find ourselves with (Religions) were put in place by some to control others. I believe that Jesus had excellent words of wisdom but they were distorted to the ends of people with agendas. I believe that when he said that the only path was through "me" he did not mean himself, but each of us as "me" - and he did instruct, in the Gospel of Thomas (a book left out of the Bible, probably because it gave this instruction) to look inward for God, to find the Church within.

Surely the Church-as-Establishment did not want followers to see that tithing to and taking direction from the Priesthood was unnecessary...

I don't know if my views help, but I do hope they give you a perspective that at least gives you something to think about.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by Good Wolf
 

I sorry I guess I get a little wordy (no pun intended) when talking about religion. IMHO = 'In My Humble Opinion'. I use that phrase enough that it needs an acronym! Actually, it's a semi-common abbreviation... And 'existential' means, simply, 'involved with existence'. So 'existential theorizing' means just simply theories about what the nature of existence is like, whether it's what God wants, or just happenstance, etc.

Now, as for a clear-cut answer, 'does God exist', I don't have one for you. I could say 'Yes', quite simply, and leave it at that. But why should you believe me? And, if indeed God does exist, do you think He'd be happy if you said, when you met Him, 'yeah I believe in you because Ian McLean told me to'?



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


While it's not exactly how I'd put it, your concept of God is my theory of "If he exists then this is his form and function"

 

reply to post by Ian McLean
 


No I get what your saying. I guess I'm asking for clear-cut 'reasoning' for or against God.

If you said "God exists" I'd say "Do you reasonably believe and why?"

I fear all roads lead to Rome which in this case is atheism.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 09:27 AM
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Well im in the same boat as you bro, 19 and a half and I just gave up on religion like a year ago. Ive come to the conclusion that this is definitly not an accident and there has got to be a supreme force watching this universe. This experience, appears to me, to be a gift. Only a loving force would bring us into existence and make it all about us. And if its all about us, then it definitly doesnt end here on this planet, so theres more after this body. Yes weve completely ruined it, but it was good in theory.
The best advice I can give you is to learn about meditation, the Autobiography of a Yogi is a good introduction and its free online. Come to the understanding that this world is completely corrupted and the only way to free yourself from it is to retreat from it inside yourself. You ever wonder why so much money is spent on entertaining everyone? There trying to keep us away from ourselves. They raise us with the bible, accustom us to self hate and then they have there way with us. Its really sick but all we can do is wake each other up and hope its not too late.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Good Wolf
reply to post by Amaterasu
 


While it's not exactly how I'd put it, your concept of God is my theory of "If he exists then this is his form and function"


Well, I also have issues with referring to "God" as "He." [grin] The creative energy, Consciousness, is not male or female. Then again... Calling "God" "It" doesn't feel right either. LOL!

If God exists (and one needs to have a working definition of what "God" might be in manifestation), most likely (S)He is all.

One thing to note... A great number of religions presume a God(s)-out-there pouring energy into us. My view is that, as God, I (and you and everyone) pour energy from inside outwards. The quality of that energy depends on intent.

And intent is something we all do have control of, by virtue of the fact that we CAN control what we think about (overall) and how we think about it all. Interestingly, one can choose how one feels by choosing what of and how one thinks.

And feelings produce intent...

Thanks for your response to my words. [smile]

[edit on 8/31/2008 by Amaterasu]



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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god does exist my friend. please dont throw away your faith because of that terrible video that has tons of misinformation and false ideas.

i will pray for you. you obviously have fallen away at some point but god loves us all no matter how far we stray away at times and how hard we fall.

on the comments about church not being genuine and such. i can understand what your saying but there are good churches out there trust me.


and to all athiests or anyone who plans on writing an anti-christian, hateful response, save it. im not speaking towards you or what you believe.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 09:59 AM
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I know you didn't ask for it, but here's some friendly advice from a devout, born-again, fundamentalist, evangelical Christian: test your faith, but don't give up on it in the face of worldly influence.

Fear and doubt are the province of the devil. If you are experiencing fear and doubt, imo you are under attack by the evil one. Satan likes nothing better than to separate a believer from God. The apostasy is prophesied, and I believe it is well under way. Don't let it happen to you.

Yes, there is a God. I see His hand at work around me every day in many ways. He came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ, fully man and fully God. He lived a sinless life, and died for our sins. He rose again from the dead.

It doesn't make sense because it is supernatural and inexplicable, the divine character of a living God. Victory through complete surrender to Christ. Dying to yourself to live forever in the spirit. Exchanging the I for the Great I AM.

Before you walk away from your faith, please read "Classic Christianity" by Bob George. It may answer many of your questions about religion.

May God bless and keep you.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by Good Wolf
 


hello there

i was not raise as a Christian. However my wife was and has gone through something similar.

Lets take out faith for a moment. Its a natural course of action for anyone maturing and growing from under the influence of family etc.

in life we all rebel against those that teach us. he problem is that no matter what someone tells us, we have to discover them for ourselves. I believe we all go through this process at one age or another.

My wife had similar issues, she was told thing but the tellers seems to ignor their own advice.

a few years went by but she was brought back to God with her faith strengthened. Like Paul the apostle, he was following God in one fashion until he had the experience of Christ. I believe this is what is waiting for you. a baptism of he Holy Spirit.

You do not get this because you were raised in a Christian household or that you are a member of any denomination. I have been a Christian for just under 8 years. there have been many times that something has come out any tested my faith. this is bound to happen.

I have went from a science man to a creation man. to be more precise i went from evolution to creation. not because i became a Christian but because i looked into the evidence. I came to the conclusion that what I had been told in school wasn't the complete truth.

As for looking inward this is a very gnostic and new age thought. and In my opinion is false teaching.

I used to hear a voice and see things way back. This was shortly after using ouija boards. i would walk around and time would pass by and i wouldn't even know where i had been and doing. i continued to see and hear "things" for many many years even when i first became a Christian.

I wanted to but i had to ask God to take them away if they were not from him and thankfully he did.

Life as a Christian will not be easy but i would ask you to pray to the Lord for faith, guidance and discernment and to also test the spirits. The enemy of God will tell you in whatever way possible that everything is okay. It will not be.

Please don't look upon the failings of infallible humans as evidence that God does not exists as the Bible defines or that it is not true.

Science and the Bible can go hand in hand but science can never tell you why. IMHO science is in constant flux, just take on issue of how old the universe is and you will have many different answers. Now we are told that science is based and hard tangible facts, if this is the case then why the disagreement? yes there are disagreements between Christians but i think that we all would know that 2+2=4.

dont give up on God he loves you and he understands the doubts you are going through as do many Christians here. The apathy in church is foretold in the Bible so praise god you are a witness to his propehcy being fulfilled.

Take care and all the best

david



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 10:44 AM
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Hi Good Wolf !

I will give you my answers to your two questions. They work for me


1) Does God Exist?
Nope. At least not in the Abrahamic sense. If I were to label anything as 'God' it would be the universe itself, and the collective universal conciousness which each and every one of us are a part of. The 'God' that the bible and other holy books refer to is merely a primitive documentation, of interactions with extra-terrestrials who displayed science. We humans had no way to understand the technology they used, we were too primitive. But now we can!

2) Is there an afterlife?
Once again, No. The idea of an ethereal soul floating from our bodies after death to a higher place is very poetic and beautiful, but at the end of the day it is just another form of coping with our fear of death based on mysticism. Our atoms simply return to the mineral world of infinity, and the energy is dispersed.
I find it hilarious (and comforting) to know that when I die, I won't even know it!

Here is a third question I added:
3) Is it possible to live again after death?
Yes! But it relies on science, and unfortunately we haven't reached that level yet. But we will...
It is possible to download all of the data stored in our neurons, and then upload the data into a fresh body. It could even be a cloned body. I feel the ET's demonstrated this to us long ago, and that is where we got the idea of eternal life, why some cultures used mummification, etc..

Good Wolf, I encourage you to Apostacise from whatever church or cathedral you have been involved with, in writing. This will not only give you a sense of confidence, it will prevent the church from using you in the statistics. This lessens the influence of the church. And yes, I have apostacised in writing as well.

@ Icarus Rising-
I know you truly mean well, and you communicate in a very civil tone. I like that about you. But I must advise you, I disagree with just about everything you have to say. I feel the need to 'counter-balance' what you stand for, because ultimately it has a negative impact on society and on global consiousness. I mean that sincerely and with love.

Peace



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by Good Wolf
I'm desperately looking for the answer to two questions:

1) Does a God(s) exist? and,
2) Is there an afterlife?



Do we believe in God because we need there to be an afterlife?!


The idea that God does not exist and that there is nothing after death terrifies me, as you would expect, and for the first real time in my life I am afraid of death.


To all those atheists, agnostics and ex-christians; how do you reconcile these problems in yourselves?
[edit on 8/31/2008 by Good Wolf]


How are you Good Wolf? I just wanted to tell you to be strong and quiet in these times. I say quiet, because the voice is very small, the one you are trying to hear that is.

I went through your situation exactly, still am...when I entered my early twenties. After that I was in a band and on the road....and you can guess how that came out...not the most "Christ" like lifestyle, yet I couldn't take another day of the church. I saw all the same things you did, the hypocrisy...etc.

About, 4 years ago, I was going though some crazy, CRAZY, lifestyle changes and this put back on the path of searching again after nearly 15 years. When I did this, started searching again for "Him", I just said, please show me the real thing.....A day latter...literally....I started hearing voices.

1. God form "El" or El yon" means mighty. "Full of vigor"
Most High is just that. The Most High in succession. Let's say you are the last male (means "remembered" like a sour name) in your family. You are the Chiefest person, The El-der, the "head" of the family. If you had no children to succeed you, you are also the "Last". You would be the "First" in succession", but the "Last" in your family stock...."The first and last". This is why Jesus was sorrowful unto death...No mansion to go to...you are the mansion and that link is in your blood. Become the last...and that blood is on you. "Sell all that you have and follow me".....this is what parents do for their children...They give away their freedom to be enslaved by a new king (generation to generation)..(All must come under the yoke of "BABY-lon" means (Confusion)..."who ever doesn't, it would be better he not been born"

2. Afterlife...you are the afterlife of your ancestors. You retain about 10% memory of them and the achievements...."God retains a 10th" and the rest he forgets. Some stay in memory for a long time and have a good afterlife, but the ones who do bad to people are not re-membered. This is why they would morn for 30 days. Lock the memory in of the person. After 5 weeks, new neurons form and thus you become their home to the energy and memory of them as well as all the others "remembering them"....Afterlife...I would say, "don't be a loner and you'll have a great afterlife"...We only remember the good anyway...most of the time....


This would freak most out, it did me, I was terrified. I've been fairly healthy, come from a very no nonsense and rational family. What happened made no sense to me, not only that...these voices were nothing like what I expected to hear from deities or CIA.. or whatever it was(I didn't know then)....I was scared out of my mind, so I then ran right back to my bible to try to figure it all out, only these things wouldn't go away when I said Jesus, and nothing in the bible helped me at all, until....My girlfriend, (who is JehWitness) showed me here bible...it was a word for word translation. I had never seen that. I had seen a strong s dictionary, but not a manuscript word for word...

I could care less for the Jehovahs witness church orginization, but I am so thankful my girlfriend showed me her addition.

I wanted to just let you know...Christ is everyman....in all and with all, so I am glad to see "The Buildings" starting to come down, and that you saw through that..."everyone will be snared in christ"...

What got me when I really started thinking about it is....God doesn't change(if you follow biblical god)...This bugged me.....because, that being the case, something isn't right with the "Saving People" part..."Gods salvation is Generation to Generation..."for ever".

Or

If I am asking to be "saved", is it not then ME who is saving me in the action of submitting by sacrificing destructive desires? If it is me, then I now understand "christ being formed in you". How does one die for all, or what is fair in that, except that one makes all live and all die. This is where I was really bothered, because in essence "accepting Jesus death for yours, is you killing him" or being no different then the ones crying "crucifiy him"...

The English bible does not give an accurate reproduction of the original words. If you do ever study the "bible" again, read a direct word for word translation...it will become so much clearer, and the old testament and new testament will jibe.

That all being said, remember listen to your heart, that's where God is anyway. You know truth, because only you can confirm something as true, so in this way the spirits may be tested. Know this, he knows your heart, and never cared about buildings...your his building. If your reading this or any other post, your in church.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 02:33 PM
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I can assure you that yes, there is life after death--and it's not what you think. The god of this world is an impostor.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by Tattoo1377
 




@ Icarus Rising-
I know you truly mean well, and you communicate in a very civil tone. I like that about you. But I must advise you, I disagree with just about everything you have to say. I feel the need to 'counter-balance' what you stand for, because ultimately it has a negative impact on society and on global consiousness. I mean that sincerely and with love.


No problem. All praise and honor and glory and power belong to God and are His forever. You are welcome to your opinions, and of course you are also entitled to them. We can agree to disagree for now and see what tomorrow brings.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by drevill
 


Sigh.

Well faith as any christian will peddle at me, is not the issue. I don't believein the bible because my 'faith' is dwindling, i don't believe because it is filled with inconsistencies and contradictions. To tell me to have 'faith' is to tell me to just ignore apparent flaws and outright fraud and "believe anyway" because it is apparently not our place to make sense of it-. The problem is that if the god of the bible existed he wouldn't ask us to do that, to overlook reason and logic goes against our very nature, why would God want us to do that?!

Its the very formular for a CULT!

And i do not use the failings of others as evidence, the bible itself was enough evidence to drop christianity.



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 03:21 PM
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reply to post by Tattoo1377
 


For the most part, I agree with you; "if there is a God surely he is the entire universe which in its colectiveness is a living being."

But ultimately there probably is no God.



Oh and a disclaimer to all Christians who are going to post on this thread:

then please understand that I am well aware of what id preached and what the bible claims to have happened to Jesus and I used to believe all that stuff.

But throwing that at me once again doesn't achieve anything.

"God loves you Jesus died for your sins... blah blah blah" I know all that! What new material can you bring to the table to justify swallowing all that bollocks?!

[edit on 8/31/2008 by Good Wolf]



posted on Aug, 31 2008 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by Good Wolf
 


Good. Next step:
www.fossilizedcustoms.com...





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