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  1. #21
    Senior Member forzen's Avatar
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    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?
    It just happened, i was raise as a christian and found myself questioning the logic behind the religion. When the priest told me to just have fate, i found that answer inadequate and slowly i lost interest.

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?
    Nothing of that type, I believe i would have divert fromt he belief regardless of their mannerism. I just happen to think everything has a cause and effect. Some things happen randomly, but there is a cause for it. Of course i would except "god made it happen" as a plausible explanation when his existance can also be explained/seen/heard.

    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?
    I feel indifferent, being fateless leaves you in an uninteresting spot. The ability to ask comfort during hardship, ask reassurance when in a tight spot is very powerful. As the feeling of guidance can give you confidence to accomplish and overcome conflicts.

    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had?
    My mother is one would consider a religious fanatic. But she prays for me and leave me be of my belief. My brother and sisters does not care.

    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?
    Reason and logic,

    the above two didn't replace my faith, but my thought works by believing in things that can be explained, and theorizing (using above method) what can't be explained.

    If this is too broad, you are free to only answer one or two points.
    : )

  2. #22
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Just to clarify my position for those who may be wondering:

    I am Christian and believe in the Bible literally. I grew up in evangelical Christian circles, although not in one specific denomination. I was fortunate to have parents with whom I could discuss the merits of many different ideas and who were neither legalistic, nor neutral about matters of faith. They did present arguments that made sense to me of why our faith was trustworthy and what practical and scientific evidence was out there to support it, as well as what issues were in the way for many that kept them from adopting it.

    During university, I continued to read and challenge and reinforce these beliefs as well as be able to explain to the people around me why I would take the position I do. I noticed however, that many of the people whom I had grown up with in the church drifted away from the faith at that point. I think it had to do with growing up in the church, but not truly having a foundation for their beliefs, or having them presented in an unacceptable manner.

    In Canada, I think we tend to be much less polarized in areas of politics and religion than the States. My time living in the States during grad school helped me to better understand that. However, nothing remains static. We certainly have been influenced by the same trends that affect the evangelical churches of the States, but perhaps a view years later. Over the years, evangelical churches (at least in Western Canada) have changed to become more seeker friendly, ecumentical, and less rule oriented. While a dose of this was needed in some regards, it has had the effect of moving the pendulum very far in the direction of becoming watered down, waffling on the main tenants of the Bible, entertainment oriented, insular yet worldly and without a way of passing the faith on to the next generation. The gospel has become a more palatable (sp?), benefit-oriented version of itself, sold to people as a life improver. People are then surprised and angry at God when their lives do not automatically get fixed and go according to the plan they in mind, or else they are complacent, seeing it as an add-on, rather than a transforming change of perspective and lifestyle and choices. This has resulted in the half-hearted involvement of the younger generations; they are interested in participating in Christian culture, not in Christianity itself. This of course translates to their behaviour, which non-Christians notice is very hypocritical.

    Because of this, as well as un-Christian, hurtful or manipulative behaviour I have seen (and felt - which has greatly impacted my parents' marriage) within the church, I find myself in the position of having more in common with those outside this new version of the faith rather than within it. Often I am embarrassed by either the extreme lack of commitment to the faith which others witness in "Christians", or by people representing Christianity who go the other extreme and are very insensitive and unaware of the normal rules of interaction with anyone when sharing their faith. When non-Christians are invited to attend church, it is either so entertainment and experience based that it truly has nothing of substance to offer, or else it is extremely insular, with no one speaking to or welcoming the person who has come and who may feel out of their element in an unfamiliar environment.

    I am reluctant to identify myself publicly as a Christian because of the connotations it holds for many who hear the word Christian. I also look back on my growing up years in the church and can see that some of what was passed off as Christianity was actually more church culture of the time.

    My problem arises in that I still believe just as surely in God and in the Bible. I also don't think it's healthy to quit having anything to do with other Christians, since the lack of unity they display is one of the biggest turnoffs to those looking on and also because it is easy to become complacent without encouragement, support, discussion and accountabillity.

    Many of my family members have dealt with these issues in differing ways: coping as well as possible, joining into the church entertainment culture, quitting attending altogether, joining mainline churches with liturgy or changing to Catholicism, abandoning the faith altogether.

    This of course has significant implications for me. While I have mostly non-Christian friends, I also do not fit in completely there because our worldviews do impact the decisions we make. If I were to marry, I would want to be "equally yoked" with someone who has the same belief system as me because it does permeate every area of life and it works much better when you are building on a solid shared foundation. I have dated a person outside of my faith for several years and broke up last spring. The experience solidified what I already knew before and tried to ignore; worldview does matter, and even more than I could have imagined even though I had been pretty well convinced before. I do not really fit into mainstream Christian culture either however. Therefore I am neither fish nor fowl.

    Anyway, that's where I'm coming from and I find all of your responses very useful in formulating thoughts about how personality is a part of all this, what makes religion make sense to people, if people's attachment conscience plays into how they feel after making a big switch in faith, what factors make people leave their faith, what replaces it, and how they process the changes, including finding a new circle of people in their life or deal with family members who do not see it the same way. Thanks all of you for chiming in so far. Keep it coming!

  3. #23
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    What criteria do you think INF would use to determine that?
    Good question, I'll bet is very particular and unique to each INF individual.

  4. #24
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Good thread, Fidelia.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post

    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?

    I was brought up in a non-denominational Christian faith. I've been Baptized, spent many years in church and youth group and am always submerged when I'm with family - because that's the life they live.

    I'm 22 going on 23 and I believe I was 16 when I sat down with my parents and told them that I didn't believe as they and the rest of the family did. That I had too many questions/doubts and simple faith wasn't enough for me to latch on to an inherited religion. I'm the first and currently the only one in my family of 6 to "fall away".

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?I've seen enough hypocrisy in the church, as we all have but I can't really blame man's short comings for my questioning of a supreme being as illustrated in the Bible. Human nature plays in to it, but it's just one of the many confusing facets surrounding the subject.

    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?I don't like having zero answers to the seemingly most important questions we can ask. I don't like that a good portion of people are controlled by their doctrines but there isn't any proof or good reason to suggest one is supreme over another.

    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had? It caused some minor strife and heartache, but we still care for each other the same. It's true, I really can't sit down and casually socialize with my family when their friends are around, because their subject of conversation usually gravitates towards spiritual talk and it's a little awkward for me.

    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?
    confusion

  5. #25
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    This is a topic that comes up frequently on the forum, and I also notice its influence in the attitudes and reactions that many have to different issues. I myself have noticed several people around me that have changed the faith they grew up in, but don't seem to completely be able to go on happily. I am trying to sort out why this is. Certainly, your world view floods through every aspect of life from moral decisions, to career choices, familial relationship, beliefs and attitudes about your origins, the way you live from day to day and the attitudes you have towards other people and yourself.

    Rather than derailing by getting into the details of the problems you had with your specific former faith, these are the things I am curious to know:

    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?

    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?

    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had?

    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?

    If this is too broad, you are free to only answer one or two points.
    1. I was two years old. I do not remember what prompted the change.
    2. No.
    3. Gain is loss.
    4. A dictatorship is not a relationship.
    5. A leave is not a replace. Loss is gain.

  6. #26
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Just to clarify my position for those who may be wondering:
    There has never been a civilization not based on a religion.

    There are three civilizations extant today. The Indian civilization based on Hinduism, the Chinese civilization based on Confucianism, and the Western civilization based on Christianity.

    So to understand your civilization and contribute to it, it is necessary to understand your religion.

    So religion is not an optional extra that can be adopted or discarded at will.

    And interestingly in Western civilization the conflict between the different Christian denominations has led to a settlement called the secular State.

    In which the secular State guarantees freedom of religion and at the same time guarantees the separation of Church and State.

    And the secular State has nurtured liberal democracy which is devoted to the limitation of power.

    And since 1833 liberal democracy has been successful in limiting power over slaves, women and children, without resorting to dictatorship or mass murder.

    So what we see is an evolution of religion in the West, culminating in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

  7. #27
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia
    Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"?
    I know that if Christianity had been presented differently, I would have had less reason to reject it. I grew up in a family of Christian fundamentalists, people who considered every word of the Bible to be God's literal truth. The problem with that outlook was that it required me to swallow more than I could handle at once: things like hell and stories that seemed increasingly fairytalish. My family would have been better off if they had taken the liberal approach and taught me that the Bible is a set of general guidelines and mythological stories that are subject to human error and change with time. In the end, however, I probably would have rejected their beliefs anyway; more than anything else, my loss of faith happened simply because I couldn't find it within me to believe in God.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia
    Was how you were treated a factor?
    I don't think so. Most of the ill treatment I've gotten from Christians has nothing to do with their religion and everything to do with the fact that they're humans. If anything, Christianity often instills people with a certain benevolence: most of the cruelest people I've known are atheists (which is kind of what I am, albeit one with spiritual, highly unusual beliefs).
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

  8. #28
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    Interesting thread. Hopefully I'll be able to add to it sometime in the future. There have been several areas of developments in my world-view, whether in religion or even political beliefs as well.

  9. #29
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?
    Think the first thoughts I had were when I was about 13. I fought it throughout my teenage years, and was able to fully embrace it without caring about what my parents thought at 20. I'm 28 now.

    The change was prompted by the connection I felt with Nature and the insatiable curiosity about spiritualism.

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?

    For me it was the fact that Science was always right. Even when it was wrong. There was nothing else besides science and if there was, it wasn't to be approached till science had given its stamp of approval.

    I think I still would've changed to my current spiritual path I believe. But it wouldn't have been such a conflict if it would've been more accepted at home to be openminded.

    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?

    I am in a way happy that my family did teach me to be sceptical of wishful thinking and the likes, and respect science. But I have gained a new understanding in life. What I've discovered compliments the view I got from home, imo. And it allows me to explore areas that were deemed not worthy of exploration at home.

    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had?

    My social circle just occasionally teases me with it and accepts it gladly. I just cannot go into detail coz that makes them uncomfortable.

    My family has, after years of trying to talk me out of it, accepted that it's not a whim and it won't pass. They still roll their eyes at me for it, but will try to avoid the topic to keep things civil.

    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?

    Yes.

    If this is too broad, you are free to only answer one or two points.
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  10. #30
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Well, mostly my worldview has not changed since I was a kid, except that my religious views have changed. I was raised in a strict roman catholic environment, so I did the common falling away as an adult. I didn't just "fall away", really.. I really just stopped believing. (Not necessarily in God, but in religion.

    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?

    I was about 18 when the changes started.
    Not sure what really prompted it, but I'm suspicious that most of the changes came out of selfishness. Laziness about following practices, guilt about not following practices. And, very typical of young adults, "what kind of a God would want to make us feel that we had to be perfect, and to feel guilty if you do things wrong?" And, I don't really believe that, (if there is a God,) he/she/ it wants us to feel this way, but a Catholic Church in a small town sure does. Also, some education came into play.

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?

    Yes, well, same answer as above. I'm not sure that it would have changed my mind. I think that not only would the Catholic church have to be more accepting of people, but also to present their religion more intelligently to people of reason. "JUST BELIEVE BECAUSE GOD WANTS YOU TO HAVE FAITH.YOU SHOULDNT NEED PROOF. GOD IS EVERYWHERE. " That's really suspicious to me. Adults with brains and education really do need more information than that. Its just human nature.

    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?
    Well, I still feel guilty. I like the tradition that church brings. I feel guilty about celebrating Christmas, Easter. I feel guilty when I still go to church on those holidays. I still pray to God at night and talk to deceased relatives. I like to think that there is some kind of an afterlife, but I don't know what it is. I still pray to God at night, whether God is there or not. I still believe in Christian morals. (If anything just because I like the safety of having a code to live by..) No regrets, really. I just can't do that religion honestly and still remain sane. I've gained some freedom and genuine happiness I think.

    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had? It didn't.

    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?
    Well, kind of. Being an agnostic I still think about what the world is all about, and the possible God and how he could be possible. Cooincidences that happen that seem surreal. Of course I didn't just lose my faith all together. SOMETHING had to replace it.

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