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Thread: Questionnaire for Ex-Christians

  1. #21
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Pentecostal. Born-again, tongue-speaking.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    About 17-18

    3. Why?

    Through my interest in fairy art and browsing around the internet for that kind of thing, I was introduced to paganism. I wasn't interested in switching religions at first, but I was interested in the beliefs in a more "academic" way I suppose. On one Wiccan's personal website that I encountered, she had a request that Christians refrain from proselytizing, but if they insisted, would they take the time to answer her questions.

    I wasn't the type to witness uninvited, but I was curious about what her questions were, so I read them. That was the first time I had ever encountered reasons for disbelieving in Christianity, such as problems with God's character and behaviour, biblical inconsistencies, etc. (That was in 2002, I don't remember exactly what the questions were, now.)

    Whatever the questions were, I felt like I couldn't answer them satisfactorily, and from there, the doubts started. For the first time, I began having major trouble with the issue of Hell and a loving God. I didn't feel right about picking and choosing which parts of the Bible I would hold true, and eventually came to view it as unreliable.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    Generic paganism, I suppose. I read things about the Wheel of the Year, the god/dess, and correspondences for spells. I attempted a little solitary Yule ritual once, and I attended an open Beltane ritual.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    No. Although I held theistic beliefs for several years after my "deconversion" from Christianity, through reading various internet forums (especially Ex-Christian ones that had atheists), I began to question the existence of god, and eventually came to be an atheist. I was quite uncomfortable with that at first.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    I guess that depends on my partner.

    My boyfriend is a Christian, although (thankfully, to me) not of the variety I was raised with. (He's more into a personal religion/spirituality, doesn't think he has to go to church, doesn't believe non-Christians will go to hell and that other religions connect to God, and, fortunately, has no problems with premarital sex) If we were to have children, I think he would like them to be introduced to his religion, but his way of believing/practicing is ok with me, so that would be ok.

    If I do have kids (don't know if I really want to), I would prefer to tell them that there are a wide variety of religions, that they are free to learn about them all, and choose for themselves what they want to follow, and that it's totally ok if they're like me, and have no god-beliefs.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    My friends are fine about it. By the time I got to high school, my closest friends were non-Christians anyway, so when I started questioning, I had no close friends who would have had a problem with it.

    My parents don't know. I would feel extremely guilty telling them, because then they would spend the rest of their lives heartbroken because they would believe I am hell-bound.

    I'm not sure if my brother knows I'm an atheist, but he knows that I'm not Christian, I think, or at least that my beliefs are verrrryyyy different than the mainstream. As he has become more liberal/progressive, this is fine, because he thinks the Bible and church have problems, too. We talk about it together, sometimes. It's nice.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    Not really.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    I am fine without god-belief. I would consider developing my "spirituality" in a non-theistic way, perhaps as a naturalistic pantheist or something.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    As an atheist, this is not really applicable for me. But if I were to go more towards pantheistic expression, I don't think I would have anyone.

  2. #22
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Hardcore Southern Baptist

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    I never really felt comfy with it growing up, but I stopped going when I was 16

    3. Why?

    I got pregnant, so that sorta made it easier, I had been fighting it for about a year before, but my grandparents where the type to force you to go.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    My first interest was Wicca, mainly because it was so popular I didnt know about anything else. I started with the internet when I was 18, got some books and just kept going.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    No, I am far from Wiccan now. Mainly because I found other areas of interest and my path changed. Wicca was a door opener for me.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    I teach them, yes. I dont force them and I try to offer a variety of perspectives. Even if its finding information for them. (my daughter has recently taken up an interest in Buddhism)

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    I have very few RL friends. But the ones I do have are fine with it. My family doesnt no and hopefully never will.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    How public we talking? I went to a pagan pride day thing and it was fun, but I dont go around talking about my faith with just anyone/everyone.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    I am satisfied, but always willing to learn and evolve.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    No

  3. #23
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    None really...my mother was baptist and my dad was raised catholic but we never really went to church.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    14. I am 17 now.

    3. Why?

    Good question...I had never really believed in God, but then I met my best friend was is Pagan and I started asking myself questions I had never asked before. Is there a God? What religion is the right religion? That kind of thing....

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    My first interest was Wicca...I used the Internet at school and borrowed books from my friends.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    No. I'm not Wiccan. I'm a confused Pagan. I don't think I really fit into any one tradition, rather I borrow from Celtic and Native American traditions because of my ancestry. Its really what feels right to me.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    If I have kids I will let my kids learn as much about religion as they choose to and decide what their paths will be for themselves. I really don't want any kids though...

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    Badly. They accused me of worshipping Satan, Tried to make me go to chruch, Even considered sending me to a Christian school. All of the normal stuff.....they have mostly come to terms with it now. They have begun trying to understand. My mother knows where I am coming from now, as she has stopped calling herself a Christian also.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    No, there were several bad incidents. I was a freshman in high school when I first discovered Wicca and my mistake was that I told all of my friends. I still haven't forgotten the mock exorcism from gym class. I learned fast to shut up.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    For now, I am content.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    Not on the same path. I have one friend who says he's a Christian Wiccan and another who (after 2 years) decided that Paganism is not for her. So I guess I am sort of alone.
    Last edited by Sera Kenina; November 29th, 2009 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Sorry!! Didn't realize that the text color was so hard to read!

  4. #24
    Thunder's Avatar
     is offline Teller of Unvarnished Truth
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Born and raised in the Catholic Church

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    27 when I left but did not go directly to something else... drifted.

    3. Why?

    At 27 my first marriage ended in divorce and the church turned its back on me... I returned the favor.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    Three years later I met Sharon who had left the Southern Baptist church for reasons of her own and when we fell in love we felt the need to worship and pray again in a more accepting environment... we church hopped for years and after we were married we settled into a Presbyterian church in the village near where we live.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    No... after 20 years deeply involved in that church (ordained elder, session, men's counsel, etc.) Sharon began to get sick... I had a crises of faith... I spent less and less time at or involved in the congregation. I became aware that, in spite of the fact that I had been a central figure in that local church and had been deeply involved in church affairs (I even chaired the pastoral search committee and hired the current minister).. my absence went virtually unnoticed by my fellow members. After a while it became a contest of sorts to see how long it would take for someone to notice. Five years and counting... not one foot in that church and not one of the people I worked side by side with for twenty years has ever asked me why I don't come any more or if everything is OK. NOT ONE.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    My daughter was in high school when the drift began and she has drifted with me. She is far more compassionate and "christian" than any of the supposed christians we left behind so I do not think there has been a loss in that area.

    7. How did your friends and parents react?

    I have become quite the atheist and that does not fly with my Irish Catholic parents.. so I do not discuss it with them.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    I have no faith.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    I am not on a path, I am on a journey and I am satisfied with how it is going for the most part. I am not seeking but exploring and look forward to what is ahead.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    I have friends who, like I am, are deeply spiritual but utterly disenchanted with religion(s).


    There ya go. Another questionnaire! Oh, and atheists can answer it, too, of course.

    I assumed we could. This is a questionnaire for Ex-Christians, not current anythings.
    Last edited by Thunder; November 29th, 2009 at 04:19 PM.
    God is an underachiever.

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  5. #25
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Catholic

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    It was a gradual questioning and I had stopped thinking of myself as Catholic or Christian by about the age of 14

    3. Why?
    I realized the core beliefs of the church were not what I believed, and began to find everything about the Church quite limiting and hypercritical.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    Buddhism. I read a lot and learnt the basics of meditation. I then began to read more about Taoism and that is a philosophy that has stayed with me.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    Not exactly. Later I became more interested in Paganism and Wicca and I began to learn to practice magic. Presently I follow a path which is a mixture of all the things that have influenced me.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    I would not hide my spiritual beliefs from my children and I guess I would raise them with my values, but that means they should choose and follow their own spiritual path.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    Mostly positively, although I am sure some of them just think I am mad or eccentric. The few that strongly disapproved are not close anymore.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    I'm ok with it but I don't make a show of it.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    It is a path. Some parts are easier than others, and sometimes I am not sure where I am going; but that's life. Right now I am a little bit confused about some things and there may be some changes. But that is what is happens when you are following a spiritual path. It is a journey and the scenery often changes.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    Yes.
    Last edited by Cassie; November 29th, 2009 at 04:27 PM.
    😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

  6. #26
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Roman Catholic

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    Around 13

    3. Why?
    That is a long explanation.
    I will just say, I realized the bible was a good book and nothing more.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    There was more then one. I began reading books on religions and spirituality.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    Not really, I came to the conclusion that almost all forms of religion have the same underlying theme. But I still consider myself a "spiritual" person, and I still enjoy studying belief systems.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    No, I raised my children learning about all forms of beliefs, it's not my place to choose one for them.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    Fine.....there was no big reaction about it.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Of course.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    Completely satisfied.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    Atheist, but I do have friends outside of MW who I discuss atheism and religions with.
    You have the right to remain silent....Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.


    Thank You Sennefer!

    "To me, photography is an art of observation.
    It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place...
    I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." ~ Elliot Erwitt

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    you can never paint over them. ~CLR~

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    I made this up myself, asking the things about which I am curious:

    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Fundamentalist Baptist

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    I didn't leave for anything else, I just left at age 13/14/15 about, though it was more of a process, one that ended officially when I began to call myself agnostic when I was about 14/15.

    3. Why?
    A long story thats hard to make short. Let's just say I didnt agree with anything and it never really made sense, the more i learned the less it made sense. My faith was doomed from the start, as my mother put it, "I am just never satisfied, I always ask too many questions."

    Natural born philosopher I guess I am.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    I looked into satanism, but didnt find anything on it that was of value so i went to others. I didnt really pursue religion too actively at first. Even when I did start believing in something again, I was never and still am not really actively searching.

    I choose a few paths before being a babylonian recon, though that watered down to eclectic paganism/agnostic theist.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    For the most part I am still the same. Though I am going through a time where I am shifting my focus away from religion and closer to philosophy, as it would be better for me.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    I think that it's best we don't impose religion on kids period. It's just really not fair, they should choose for themselves.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    To my friends it was a nonissue (not sure if I even told them, but they found out one way or another), but to my mother, she now feels her suspicions were confirmed that I am demonic spawn. I have no clue why she thinks that, but she used to call me that all the time as a kid.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    If it comes up yeah

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    Seeking

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    no
    ......with liberty and justice for all;
    For all means for all without exceptions!

    What is more valuable than liberty? Nothing, not even my own life. As without liberty, is life really worth living?

    "those who would give up a little liberty, to gain a little security, deserve neither, and will lose both." -Benjamin Franklin

    "Don't Tread on Me" - Forgot

  8. #28
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Baptist

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    I'd say 18-19, but I haven't stepped foot inside a church but maybe twice since I was 16.

    3. Why?
    Christianity made no logical sense to me, I did not feel spiritual within it, and I did not fit in with the Christian community.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    Paganism. Read some books, joined MW.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    Sort of. My beliefs have evolved.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    Probably not. I will raise them to decide for themselves.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    None of them know.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Absolutely not.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    Not seeking. I'm as satisfied as I can be with a spiritual path, I guess.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    No.
    Last edited by Fireheart; November 29th, 2009 at 06:27 PM.
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  9. #29
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Pentacostal

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    21

    3. Why?

    Christianity didn't really make a whole lot of sense to me when I started thinking about it. I really just think I believed it because it was the only thing I had ever been exposed to.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    Wicca; I read a lot about it.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    I'm a Buddhist Wiccan.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    Yes.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    My friends are cool about it. My dad is fine with the Buddhism, but not so much the Wicca. My brothers don't really care either way, and my mom disapproves of both, but accepts that I'm an adult and will make my own choices.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    Yes.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    I'm pretty satisfied
    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    I have Buddhist friends and pagan friends, so I have the best of both worlds.

  10. #30
    Mama J's Avatar
     is offline I'm a little laid back and key wasted!
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    Here are some answers for ya.

    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    I started Christianity in the Jehovah Witnesses path, but that soon ended and I became a Presbyterian baptized and confirmed.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    I think it was somewhere around age 19 that I had finally figured out that Christianity wasn't for me.

    3. Why?
    I left Christianity for several reasons. One was that I had learned that God might not exist, nor did he answer all your prayers. Second, I never felt comfortable in a church, I can't explain that really, just something would always tell me to leave. Lastly, I thought that perhaps there might be something else out there that fit better with what I believed to be.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    I might not have believed in God anymore at the age of 19, but it took ten years before I found a "religion" that worked for me. I started by making a list of the most popular world religions ranging from Aladura to Judaism to Zoroastrianism. I read alittle on all of them and settled on one that made sense to me and that matched up to what I believed to be. The "religion" I picked was Asatru. It kinda just works for me.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    Yes, I am in the same path now as I just started down this road. I am still learning about it.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    We have a daughter and we decided before she was born that the choice of religion would be up to her if she wanted one at all. She's not been baptized or anything. We have decided that because our families are Christians that they and we will show and tell her about our religions and let her find out about whatever other ones she chooses, so in the end the choice will be hers and hers alone. We won't love her any less if she decides to go down the path of Shinto or something. Religion shouldn't matter, she's still family.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    My friends all know that I don't really subscribe to Christianity anymore, but they've never not talked to me or anything. One friend even said, "Well it takes all kinds I guess..." (She is very Catholic.) My family, well dads side I don't think really gets it. My dad doesn't care, he just said if it makes you happy okay. My mom and her side don't know cause I don't really see or talk to them anymore not because of religion, but other personal reasons.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    I will tell someone when asked directly about what I believe. I also started wearing a Pentagram/Pentacle (I get the two confused easily, its a star in a circle) some years ago to show the world that I don't believe in God. I know it means more than that to most people, but thats what it means to me.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    For now I am satisfied, but again I am still learning things about it everyday that I read more.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    Well, yes my hubby has chosen the Asatru path long before I did. He is here on MW, but we were married long before he joined here. He is the only one. I have another friend that is looking into Asatru as a path for her.

    "I could kick this bad world's ass, if I could just land on my feet!"



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