of course creationism jumps out at me first but since leaving the church and becoming a secular humanist, i've gone back and read the gospels again and i can't believe that i didn't see how weird jesus was, throwing demons into pigs, healing random people, he got angry with his disciples for not understanding him, then of course the idea of hell, and stepping back and looking at him objectively he never spoke against many ills of the day, so i can't believe i used to believe that jesus was someone i wanted to emulate

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Yep, that occurred to me too, but it still amazes me that I even wrestled with those issues at all.

Oh man, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who used to do that.  I tend to mumble to myself a lot too, and I'd always get on myself about it, because I was 'giving the enemy too much information'.

I don't even know where to begin. ALL of the above definitely applies to me. But what disturbs me the most is the absolute arrogance of it. Adventists and other biblical literalists have to have an answer for everything, regardless of how absurd it is. Such as the fossil record being based on denser animals sinking earlier in the flood with the less dense animals sinking last or Satan did it. You see something that doesn't support your world view, well that must be the work of Satan. My favorite movie as a little kid was the Land Before Time (just watched it last night with my niece, AWESOME) and my favorite TV shows when I was a few years older were Star Trek the Next Generation and Bill Nye the Science Guy. When ever I saw something that went against dogma, I would just dismiss it as being Satan's work. With as much as I've loved science my whole life, that was some pretty serious brainwashing for me to study theology of all things.

If I had to pick just one thing, it would be Satan.
Yeah, SATAN!

I can't believe that whenever some religious authority started pontificating things I didn't understand, that I thought "They must really know their stuff. They know a lot more than I do. I bow to their superior knowledge/wisdom." Why did it not occur to me that it didn't make sense because.......it was senseless?
Even having been that religious authority pontificating things that didn't make sense, it didn't occur to me either for far too long.
I'm curious what percentage of SciFi fans either are atheists or are soon to be atheists, it's got to be much higher than average.

Uh.. Noah's ark. Literal 6 day creation week 6000 years ago. Just loads and loads of things that I never thought critically about- was encouraged to NOT think critically about.

I think that the thing i cannot understand as an adult, is the twisted morality I was taught as a child. We were taught that things like genocide are perfectly fine if god pre approves it or engages in it personally. As a child i remember thinking "well all those people god commanded to die shouldn't have been so bad. Then they wouldn't have had to die." That women are less then men in the eyes of the creator. That gay people are abominations. Especially as Adventist even other christians are terrible people for not worshiping their imaginary friend on the correct day. It sickens me to think that so many children are being taught this disgusting perversion of true morality by well meaning parents who were themselves indoctrinated to think the same things. I also attended SDA schools most of my life and when I look back I think "What a self righteous pompous ass i was." lol I was that kid that quoted scripture and always did the right thing...for the wrong reasons. Out of fear. I shudder to think what i would be like today if i had been born straight. If i had hit puberty and not been gay, not having that original reason to question the things i'd been taught. I don't think i would like who i would have been very much.
One general thing, and one Adventist thing...

1. Can't believe I knew how the pagan gods behaved, and then when the Christian God behaved just like them (criminal, maniacal, hateful, killing people willy-nilly at the drop of a hat for the most trivial of offenses), I can't believe I bought into the standard, wimpy explanations of how the "true" very-essence-of-love God could behave the same way. God were we ever thick-skulled!!

2. Mrs. White prophesied that some of the people in the room that day, when she spoke, would live to see Jesus come. Of course they've all been dead for many years now. When the prophecy didn't come true, well of course it was the people's fault (for not being ready!), not faulty prophecy. In your remotest imagination, can you see the SDA church not instantly condemning somebody ELSE's prophet as "false," if they had made such a direct, specific prophecy that failed to come true? I can't believe I believed the lame excuses they make on God's behalf!

The whole idea of sin and removal of sin. Sin is 'disobedience to god', but yet you can remove it? How do you remove an action from one person and give it to another? Does god alter the past without affecting the present/future to replace the me in history with a clone of Jesus who then commits the act/thought of sin that I did? How does Jesus death absolve the evil of any action--especially if he came back to life later? How does that work when the act of sin requires different genitalia from what Jesus had? I know now that there are no cosmic moral absolutes in the sense of "a law of nature" that goes beyond evolved survival&mating reasoning.

I don't feel embarrassment about my childhood beliefs though. As a kid there were a lot of things that I was told and believed simply because mom/dad/pastor who's-it said it was true, and nothing I knew about said anything else. But there's a big difference in the actual mental mechanic of belief I had then and the way I believe now.

At the ages I remember well enough to comment on roughly age 5-12 "belief" was about getting the right answer in Sabbath school or listening to one adult then parroting back what they said to another adult and feeling good when they praised me for it. Basically everything was by wrote so there wasn't any embarrassing logic or reasoning involved that I personally thought through at all. I don't think that at that age, I understood reasoning or had the capacity to do it rigorously.

There were a lot of steps to the change over to the way I believe now, but one of the biggest happened in sophomore bible class at UCA. There was some kind of assignment or something where we had to explain how salvation worked. Pastor Fred had a lot of discussion in his classes and I remember I gave him a hard time about the whole "saved by grace" thing. He'd say "It's like you're in prison and Jesus opens the prison door. All you have to do is walk out." He explained it like 20 different ways, none of which really explained what had to actually happen to give someone salvation, and the disconnect in figuring out how the belief mapped to reality added a lot of doubt to the god hypothesis.

So basically I'm not sure if I ever really did believe in the same way I believe things now. There were some things like Creation that I believed in somewhat logically and reasonably for a while because my only inputs were false/unscientific data made by creationist "scientists". A summer of reading about evolution when I was 17 cleared that up. I can't think of anything where I felt I really understood in detail how the concept mapped to reality. Which isn't surprising when you know there is no such mapping.

I agree with a lot of the rest of you that pretty much all the beliefs I had feel jarringly obviously ridiculous to me now, and I don't understand how anyone can stick to them if/when they really think about it.

All of the above!  That God/Jesus sees every little thing you do and keeps track of it...guardian angels.... demon possession.  That plants could have been created and survived before the sun and that stars really aren't billions of years old because God created their light already in transit.  That being hit in the head and brain-damaged could - if you were right with Jesus - cause you to hear/see God and become the next True Prophet (Ellen White).  That scientific knowledge was somehow evil because it was a product of human minds and not divine inspiration.  That Satan had planted the dinosaur fossils to trick humans into believing evolution. That Satan was lurking everywhere.  That the blood of innocent baby lambs could really wipe out the sins of people who butchered them and burned their carcasses - at least until Jesus got killed.  That the Bible was the holy and infallible Word.  All of it.  

Actually, down deep I could never really bring myself to believe any of this crap...but I was afraid that I might be wrong, and that if it was true, I was in big trouble!

I can't believe that as a young (at the time) white middle-class Christian American I actually thought I was an oppressed minority. What a preposterous idea. My SDA church and even the Wesleyan churches I later attended told me my very way of life was under attack by the godless majority in America. I actually thought that unbelievers fighting for their right to not have religion forced on them was a violation of my Christian rights.

 

I studied my way out of Adventism at 16. I studied and observed my way out of religion this year, at 37. I realized that everywhere I looked, whether in the news, pollitics, bookstores or the internet Christianity was the overwhelming force. When I started questioning my beliefs I had to sift through countless Christian pages on the internet just to find a dissenting opinion.

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