Hi all, I'm new here and just wanted to share my recent acceptance that there is no God and the fact i am no longer a christian. I guess part of the reason for me to share this here is to try and understand my self what i fully feel and think. I'm sure many of you have experienced it. It is an odd feeling when something you lived your life for and by. something that was your foundation for being here and how you lived your life. When something everyone around you lives by and judges you on it. When this is suddenly gone and you are just you nothing more it is a surreal feeling.
I guess i should start by painting a picture of how i originally came to christ ect.
I have been bought up as a christian from birth. I went to church every sunday and nearly all my friends and family were devout Christians. I went to a free church with modern worship where everyone would raise there hands, shake and fall over as they were 'touched by the holy spirit' I guess when you see this as a kid and blindly believe everything your told its no surprise you really do believe it. It all seemed so tangible and real.
Around 12-13 I found god for my self, this mainly happened through my love for music and i thought i could feel 'him' when i worshiped him. Funnily enough this 'feeling of god' would later be one of the many things that started my journey to athiesm. By 16 i was leading worship to a group of friends and really living the christian life so to speak. I was 100% sure and laughed at the stupid atheists who thought we weren't created. I would google arguments for god and built up a huge supply of ammo to defend my faiths and beliefs to people. And as alot of people don't understand the world or Christianity properly i often 'Won' the arguments. Again though not far around the corner this re search would eventually lead me to the real truth. I was praying for my friends and regularly go to meetings and groups to further increase my faith and live the life god wanted me to live. So by 17 my 'brainwashed' mind couldnt be more confident in god and that jesus had died for me. I was the type of christian that believed in god and evolution and didnt believe that all the bible was literal. E.G i didnt think adam and eve was true simply a way for us humans to understand creation more. i believed god put evolution into motion and didnt consider this an argument against god as you can easily believe in both. This also made it alot harder for athiests to argue against my god as for alot people creation ect is where the argument of GOD/NO GOD begins. This actually made my belief stronger as i believed in the logical bits but dismissed other bits of the bible as metaphors ect. I hope the above shows you how deeply i believed in it all ect.
Shortly after 17 i started to do things that most young adults do and went out partying ect. I started to explore my sexual attraction to women. This was the first time i had gone against my faith as of course i should not be having sex before marriage or anything more than kissing until then. Shortly after stepping over the mark a few times i went the whole way and lost my virginity. I thought i was going to feel horrid and hate my self for it and feel guilty as one could. Of course sex before marriage is often seen as the sins of all sins in a Christian society. But i felt no guilt even after praying to god to convict me and and make me feel bad so i could truly repent. But it never came i felt fine and this confused me. I didnt realise at the time but this was the moment the first seeds of doubt were planted. I was now 17 and a half. I was starting to play non christian music. I began to get these 'God feelings' when listening to normal music. And wanted raise my hands or jump for joy when playing normal music. Again this planted more seeds of doubt as normal music was giving me the same feelings as i got when playing worship music!?.
I got a part time job which meant i worked sundays so i stopped going to church at this point. over the next few months i got less into being a christian but still believed there was a god ect. At 18 i got a non christian girl friend and was warned by all of friends and family to be very careful because it would lead me down a slippery slope. However she was 100% fine with my faith and even said she would come to church with me if i wanted her too. I had a normal relationship and we slept with each other ect. again never felt any guilt or anything. For the next two years i would slip away further from my religion and live a normal life but always still believing in a god.
This brings me up to the past year. I hadn't really given much thought about god ect. My girlfriend asked if i still believed in god and with out thinking i said i'm not sure. I couldn't really believe those words had just came out of my mouth. This DID get me thinking so i started again to think about my faith again and google religion ect. However i was now doing this outside of my former 'Cuddly christian Bubble' and it didnt take long for me to figure out there was no god. and if there was i defo didnt want to bow down and worship him. I saw how the bible didnt stack up, how it constantly contradicted its self. That the logic of god makes no sense when you think about it properly. I couldn't accept my own defence of my faith anymore. And soon realised how just being told to have faith or its gods plan is ridiculous. I could write for ages on the reasons i no longer believe as i now have an even bigger ammo bank about why god is not real but that is for another time.
For the next few months i continued to re search and finally accepted i was an atheist now. I feel relieved and like i truly have been saved. The only person i have told is my girlfriend. I have not 'Come out' to my friends and family yet. They will all be devastated and try to re convert ect. And say all the things i use to say to people who had turned away from the lord. Im not truly sure how they will react? Im worried they might blame my girlfriend. My friends im not so worried about. But I love my parents and family. I have had an amazing upbringing. They have only ever done the best for me and provided me with all i need for my life. I guess i know they will be hurt, i know they wont be angry or anything but i still cant bring my self to tell them. They know i'm not as in to it as before but they have know idea i no longer believe.
So i am now 21 and happy i have realised the truth. I am still happily with girlfriend. But just need advice on the whole telling family ect...
Has any one else been through something similar? how did your devout christian family take the news ect?
Any replies would be greatly appreciated.
Hi there, if I was in your position do not tell your family anything about it. They might suspect later & if they ask you, you can always say that you are keen on the hippy movement, so wander around the house .in old clothes playing wild music.
Welcome Toby, I am glad you could step into the light. I was a Christian too but I guess we took different paths to atheism. I haven't "come out" myself too but I am hoping one day I would. This is a great community and it has been much help to me since I joined. I hope you find answers to your question and trust me there are wonderful guys out here. Welcome once again
Welcome to TA! Thanks for sharing your story. I know there are a lot of members on here that have had similar experiences with their families and are not sure what to do about it. Unfortunately I'm not one of them because my family is very open minded, so I won't be able to give you advice on how to deal with it. But what I can do is say that each situation I've seen seems to be completely different. Some have had good reactions, some bad. It doesn't sound like you are worried that your family might disown you or anything? If that's the case then you are in a relatively good position. There's never really a good time to tell them, just when you think you are ready and when they may be able to handle it. It also depends on whether or not you want to tell them at all! Time normally helps with the decision.
But aside from that, welcome to the side of reason! You seem to have made it here all on your own which is amazing as some people need coaxing and prodding to get them onto the path of thought. It's fantastic! If you want to build up your ammo some more, then there are plenty topics and discussions to help.
congrats and welcome to the site.
I am in a relatively similar situation. I am a recent atheist and only my wife and my dad know. Telling my mom is the most difficult part as she is an extremely religious person. I do not even know a single non-believer (I'm from Indiana). I know my mother will be devastated, similar to your situation. I don't think its fair to have to live with that "secret" so I guess I plan on "coming out" soon and deal with the disappointment. I do think I will be happier and hopefully you as well. It sounds like you have a great family that will understand. There may be others around you that will use your courage to deal with their own questions. Good luck.
Thanks for your response!
Same here though im across the pond in UK. I agree, i dont like living this lie and i think i will do it soon! Let me know how you get on when you 'come out'. Living at home still makes things more difficult or maybe easier, who knows!? I dont think i realised what a big deal this would be until i thought about actually doing it! I am basically saying i reject my upbringing and think everything to told me is a lie and i no longer wish to be involved in it ect. I just hope they dont think im rejecting them, just there belief!