To those who have lost their religious faith

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by silent_enigma, Aug 23, 2007.

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  1. silent_enigma

    silent_enigma Well-Known Member

    I was wondering how many people here have gone thru the same thing I went thru recently.

    I used to be a very conservative fundamentalist Christian. However the moral contradictions in the bible, plus a number of other things about it, and life experiences, caused me to lose my faith. And it's very dissapointing because I made major life decisions based on said faith back when I first converted. Now I live with the consequences of a faith I no longer have. I try to think "well, everyone makes mistakes, I just have to pick up from here and go on with life" but that doesn't do the trick.

    I feel like I've been destroyed inside after living a lie for 10 years. To go from believing in a personal god that listens when you pray, and thinking you have eternal life "in the bag", to nothing is a traumatic experience. I guess it was inevitable. I ask too many of the "wrong" questions. You know, the questions they never talk about in those "answers for skeptics" type Christian apologetics books they sell in Christian bookstores.

    My wife was raised in a strict fundamentalist Christian home, but oddly she seems to be handling it a lot better than me.

    I have no external problems, really. Financially we're just fine. My wife is faithful and loving. The kids behave well. But like I said, I've been damaged inside. I feel like I don't have the ability to enjoy things and be happy like I used to, both prior to and during my time as a Christian. Without religion, life has no "magic" to it. I got addicted to having faith, but the very same beliefs that once gave me that "high" also gradually destroyed my ability to have faith in anything. :sad: And the withdrawl from that "drug" is just painful.

    Although I'm temporally comfortable, I have no hopes and dreams anymore. No fantasies about what I may be able to accomplish in life or what I am. No delusions of having a direct connection to the creator of the universe. *sigh*

    So anyways, does anyone know of a process I can go through to un-destroy my inner self? I'm willing to give it time and try hard. Even though the thought of ending it all and escaping this stupid world is a perpetual temptation in my mind, I don't really want to do it. I've got important things to do and people to love. But I can't do what I need to do if I go around hating being alive.

    Thanks for your time in reading this.

  2. river16

    river16 Member

    Hello, I am sorry to say that I do not have any advice to give, because if I did then I probably would not be here. What I can do is [SIZE=-1]empathize with you. I am being raised in an extremely Christian home and have very high standards that I am supposed to meet. Well I cant, I dont know if I believe in it or not. Religion really is a "drug". I (and maybe you too) was raised so that this belief has been ingrained into my very being. And trying to break away is killing me. Anyway, if you ever find your answer, or just want to talk just let me know.

    Hang in there...
  3. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    I find faith is a bit of a roller coaster ride..doubts creep in, am having a hard time of it with God at the moment:dry: I guess the thing that keeps me in there is that no matter how bad things are or how little faith I have when I really think about it ...there he is and even if it doesn't help anything..still there he is and even when I dont want him..there he is..lurking in the background.
    I have had this sense of God since I was a child..even thru all the shit (and oh man my childhood was a trip to hell and back at times) there he was.
    I dabbled in the black arts, he pulled me back.
    So I guess hun you just have to sit and listen for that quiet still voice that reaches in and brings you home.
  4. yada

    yada Well-Known Member

    I came from a very religious upbringing and my sister also took deeply to religion, but in my early teens I started questioning it, perhaps because I was always a scientific person. But I never received any good answers from my parents or anyone else. Traditions and rituals were always a matter of "we just have to do this". Still, I've held onto all the traditions and rituals, but kept my mind open to the possibility that it may all be untrue. And I partially followed the rituals because I know that society (friends, family, etc) would think of me as a sinner or heretic if I didn't.

    Historically, religions and especially specific religious beliefs, have come and gone. Many beliefs and rituals have changed, because of evidence that proved contrary, lack of evidence to prove correctness, or even (in)convenience. We look at many of those past beliefs and behaviors now and wonder how our ancestors could ever do things that to us now seem so obviously "wrong" (can't think of a better work to use there right now). It's just a matter or time before our current beliefs and rituals are looked upon the same way I'm sure.

    As of last year I gave up religion and have become more secular now, and I can truly say that I feel no different because of it. I have not seen any changes in my life due to a lack of belief in a god that I held onto for decades. Perhaps I'll find out otherwise when I die someday, but I won't be able to report back to you all. :)

    I absoutely think we should all do good things, but I don't believe we need to think that someone above is ready to crack a whip on our backs if we don't. The phrase "god fearing" always made me wonder if we're supposed to look up to this god or think of him as some evil dictator. I'm a fairly good person. I consciously do the right thing and help others whenever I can. And I don't need to fear any invisible forces for that.
  5. MrDepressed

    MrDepressed Guest

    I can understand where you are coming from.. I tackled reading the bible and becoming invovled with church(s) and christians for about 10 years, when all was said and done I came to conclude maybe the depth of my belief is more based on the hype of the group.. much like doin a drug with friends is a bit more exciting than doing it alone.. so I broke away and decided I didnt believe in this and until I could personally come to a greater conclusion of it I would continue in that non-belief.. Even if the overall of the bible is myth/legend etc its core value is an amazing thing, compassion, love, hope, faith.. these are amazing things to have for the self and the community..
    I think compassion, love and hope are pretty easy for most people to grasp but what is faith in the english language? how is it commonly used by the common man.. I see faith being used in conjuction with a rule set, a thought process, but if you look at the greek word that was used, Pistus, and look at the meaning it had to the people it is somewhat different to what it is currently used as.. Pistus can be somewhat explained like this, you go to a chair and you sit on it, you go to a wall and lean on it, you dont question it, you just do it without a thought, the only time you might question it is if it looks shaky or you fall off the chair or the wall falls down, than you may test the next handful of chairs/walls but your 'faith' will be restored in it quickly.
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