Was there one particular experience you had that made you lose belief in God and religion?
I grew up with an extremely religious mother. I attended Catholic schools and taught at one as an adult. I lost my faith in God and religion when I had a son with autism. Even though I was surrounded by very religious people -- my family, my in-laws, my co-workers -- they turned their backs on me during this time when I needed them the most. Now I'm wary of religious folks. This experience soured me on religion.
Yes, the first time I said the f word. And then I kept on saying it, and then some others while playing around with the feeling of fear it created in me. Then I experimented with some thoughts, about as far as my imagination could take it, which took some years and with even more years some acts. After all that time of not being struck down I progressively stopped believing in god.
Then everything started going in reverse and my belief in God got surplanted with a belief in the conscience. I discovered it first hand, and much of it seemed natural and biological, but some of it is simply inexplicable or at the very least, very strange.
At the end of all the haze I slap myself and wash my face and decide, to behave because some kind of God, is watching me.
Not so much as losing faith in God or a higher power but rather a distrust of all organized religion. Once I started to study the actual biblical canonization process of how the various books were "selected" by particular individuals to be either included or excluded from the bible it illustrated that politics was involved on so many levels. One also has to wonder if there is one "truth" why are there so many different denominations?
Secondly basic logic and intelligence became a factor.
Samson killed (1000) men with the jawbone of a donkey. Really???
Adam lived to be 930 years old. Seriously??
Noah had his first child after the age of 500
The earth is less than 10,000 years old. (Tell that to the dinosaurs!)
God made the world in 6 days and "rested on the 7th". Does he get tired?
God created foreign languages to keep people from building a tower from earth to heaven. (Note: They had no space suits or oxygen to breathe)
"And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." (He didn't think we'd have interpreters)
God wrestling with Jacob and losing!
God and Satan making a wager on Job loyalty and faith.
And then there are the various contradictions
Exodus 20:13 - Thy shall not kill (One of the 10 Commandments)
Exodus 21:17 -And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
Exodus 31:15 - Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death.
Exodus 32:28 - "And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three (thousand men).
That's just one example with conflicting scriptures in the same book!
Like you I too I came across many Christian hypocrites in my time and realized everyone of them "cherry picks" which scriptures they'll follow and which ones they won't. Essentially they were like anyone else.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 - "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."
Ultimately I came to the conclusion that God made man and man made religion.
Are you saying that you stopped believing but then returned to believing? It's hard for me to Imagine that my faith could ever be restored. However, I certainly think I was a happier person when I believed in a higher power.
It was a gradual process for me, the more I studied the bible and the origins of Christian beliefs the more contradictions and illogical nonsense I saw.
The clincher though was seeing the result of God's noninterventionist policies, and one in particular. A 2-3 year old little girl disappeared at a holiday resort in Portugal some years ago. This was big news in the UK and continues to be to this day. No trace has ever been found and TV interviews with her parents are heartbreaking. One must assume that thousands of Christians were praying for her safe return or at least that God would lead the authorities to body if she had been killed. An omnipotent omniscient God knows exactly where she is to this day and yet with every Christian claiming god speaks to them not one person has received a revelation of her gps coordinates. Why would a loving God choose to keep his mouth shut? Or with all these self proclaimed prophets why does nobody hear God speak?
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