My Current Emotional State

I have realized that I have not revealed much about my personal life of current emotional or mental or spiritual mindset.

So here are few things that have changed within me internally.  I no longer pray and YES I have tried, but I actually feel silly talking to myself in the hope that God will here me and answer.  In fact in all honesty this was actually one of the first things I ceased doing spiritually.  I’ve tried to pray, but i have never been very good on the ONE WAY conversation.

Another thing that has changed,  I now listen to secular music in my car. I have not listened to secular music on radio in 7 years.  I stopped listening to worldly and secular when I became a christian because I felt that listening fo worldly music did not glorify God. Only in my car, because my wife does not know the depths of my skepticism and doubt.

I no longer have a desire to witness or tell people about God or Jesus.  I’ve even noticed my communications have become more worldly, (especially with my co-workers.)  No I’m not cursing and talking about lustful things.  But let me give you an example:  One of my co-workers is going through a very rough patch in his marriage.  Instead me giving some type of Godly advice, I gave worldly advice.  Advice that had nothing to do with God or the Bible.

I still read my bible and with as much frequency as did before this all started, however the difference is how I read my bible.  Before I read my bible for the sole purpose of edification and wanting to learn more about God and wanting to be closer to him.  Now when I read, I am conscious of finding errors, contradictions, and immoral behavior. Like some may say,  – I have taken off my God Glasses.

About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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42 Responses to My Current Emotional State

  1. Wow…I could have written this!
    Prayer is hard for me, I struggle with it, always have struggled with it and it has gotten much worst with my current crisis of belief.
    I do find myself switching off the CCM stations more often than not and listening to other things in my car. I usually have to switch it back before I get out so that my kids can hear what they like on the CCM; otherwise I’m flipping from station to station to find something I like and skipping over the christian stuff.
    And as for the bible…I honestly can’t say I’m reading it like I used to, in fact it is a lot less but I do approach it differently. Although I do ask god to speak to me and reveal himself to me if it is and he is real, I’m a lot more cynical and doubtful about it and when I read those questionable passages (especially in the OT), I’m usually done.
    Good post my friend.

  2. Nate says:

    Wow, I can really identify with everything you’re saying here. My ability to pray went away fairly early, though I would still pray for guidance and the ability to find truth. My approach to study went through the exact same progression too. And like you, I began to drop spiritual references and perspectives from my conversations with others. I know exactly what you’re going through. It’s a hard road. A lot of it is positive, but it was also scary and sad for me at times. I wouldn’t change anything about it though — I’m very glad I went through it.

    • Hey Nate,

      i was going through some of the post you wrote the other day, and the one you wrote for me….What ever happened to that 50-Page Book you wrote? what kind of reaction did you get from people? Did anybody actually read the whole thing or try to refute it? What was all in it?

      You know a book that long, could be published…Maybe you should self publish it.

      Also when you first start doubting your faith, and doubt turned to skepticsm, and skeptism turned to deism, and desim turned to agnosticsim, and agnosticism turned to atheism. And which point did you express your non-belief to your wife? And how did that work out for you? Is she also an atheist, or does she still goto church?

      • Nate says:

        Wow, great questions!

        I still have it (I’ll email you a copy), though it was written specifically to people in my denomination (church of Christ), so some of it may not translate well. I have thought about fleshing it out more and making it a real book — just haven’t had the time to do that yet. I still plan to though. Oddly enough, I never got any real refutations. That was the weirdest thing. The church of Christ usually prides itself on Bible knowledge and on cornering the market on “truth,” so it was really surprising to me that no one really tackled each of my issues head on.

        I talked to my wife as soon as I knew that there weren’t good answers for the first things I had run across (most of that dealt with the Book of Daniel). She actually took it pretty well. She cried some — I think I did too. But we weren’t deciding to leave the church or anything, we just decided that we needed to examine the Bible critically and see how it panned out. Didn’t take long to realize that there were some serious problems. Really, she was with me pretty much every step of the way. She doesn’t call herself an atheist; she identifies as more of an agnostic, maybe even an agnostic deist. Honestly, I was really lucky, because I know it doesn’t always pan out that way.

  3. Robert says:

    I’d say that questioning one’s beliefs is a good thing. This is not to say that they should be given up or changed, but that they should be examined. If you end up giving up your beliefs, that’s a good thing, because it means you were wrong but have corrected yourself. And if you end up keeping them, that’s a good thing too, because they’ve been reinforced by examination and are now more justified. The problem is when someone either gives up their beliefs arbitrarily because they’re hard to hold, or fails to examine them at all.

    As for music, I don’t see a problem with a Christian listening to secular music as long as it’s not explicitly anti-Christian. Realistically, not everything can be about God, at least not directly. If your friend had asked you advice on which kind of computer to buy, you’d probably just recommend one brand over others. I don’t know what kind of marital problem your friend has, or what kind of advice you gave, but maybe the solution just was something that wasn’t “godly advice”, like taking her out to dinner. This doesn’t seem to clash with Christianity at all. If Christianity is true, there’s still a natural world in which natural things happen. 🙂

    I’d also recommend that you consider talking to your own wife about all this. Keeping secrets from one’s spouse isn’t a wise course of action, regardless of one’s religious affiliation. If she loves you, she’ll do her best to help you out.

    • Nate says:

      I agree with Robert’s recommendation about talking to your wife. I know it’s difficult, but something this huge can’t remain a secret. And if you try to keep it from her, it’s just going to cause more problems. Something to think about…

      • ignorantianescia says:

        Thirded, and I wish you good luck if you’re going to talk about it.

      • to nate and robert..

        I actually do intend to tell my wife at the end of the month. I want to wait till the end of the month because. we have a youth conference coming up that we are going to, and still organizing and finalizing some things. And I’m also trying to setup like a get-together/reunion for the old college ministry we were both end. so I kind of want to do after those things.

        However I have considered telling my sister first, since me and my sister are close. She does believe in God, and says she is christian, but thats as far as it goes. So I was considering telling my sister kind of as a test run. (Cause I know if it goes bad with my sister, then I know it will go bad with everyone else.) To see what kind of reaction I would get from people.

        What do yal think about that…or should I go straight to Spouse????

      • Robert says:

        If it was me, I’d talk to my wife first. Of course, you’re not me. I don’t know you, your wife, or your sister on a personal level, so unfortunately it’s hard to say what’s best. If you think this plan is the best way to do things…well, you’re the most qualified to decide that. Good luck.

      • Nate says:

        I think telling your sister first is fine, if you feel comfortable with that. I talked to my brother before I talked to anyone else, and that worked out well for me. Good luck, whatever you decide. I think lots of assurances that you’re still the same person are paramount.

      • U know what nate, ur words did seem encouraging in regards to how you handled it until I came across this blog about a guy who de-converted and now his marriage is on very shakey ground.

        There are probably more problems in his marriage besides the de-conversion, but still…

      • Nate says:

        Ugh, that does sound bad. I know another couple that’s going through something similar. Once again, I’m one of the lucky ones.

        Still, you should at least feel it out at some point. You can always blame it on momentary doubt or weakness. The nice thing about Christianity is they have to forgive you as soon as you ask… 🙂

      • right……lol if only Christianity worked the way it supposed to be set up

  4. Brenda says:

    Thanks for sharing where you’re at.

  5. Lorena says:

    Interesting that prayer went first. I prayed my way out of the church. I left convinced that god didn’t want me there, because it hurt too much. I figure god loved me too much to want me in church.

  6. Pingback: Pastors who once were christians « the Way?

  7. ignorantianescia says:

    A bit of a strange question, but what artists do you often listen to now that you wouldn’t have listened before? I agree with Robert that there’s nothing wrong with Christians listening to secular music. Asides, Christian music is sometimes much too separated from the wider music culture, with little interaction.

    • Lorena says:

      Here we go again. You’re assuming that we followed the same flavour of Christianity you did. We were taught a very severe type of Christianity that you seem to be unfamiliar with.

      You know, I like progressive Christianity. I actually think that if I had found sympathetic ears in progressive Christianity before I de-converted, I would still be a Christian.

      The problem with you guys is that instead of ministering to us, you battle us. You join the ranks of the fundamentalists as if you were the same thing. You defend Christianity as if what we were attacking was what you believe in. And when you do that, you side with our abuser. Not the right thing to do, for sure.

      This post isn’t about what YOU believe in at all. I think you would go a lot further with us if you said…. “I am sorry you were told that listening to non-Christian music was wrong.”

      Leaving the faith is such a horrible thing, that I truly wish milder kinds of Christianity would appeal to me. But then I find “fundamentalist progressives” like you and think, “To heck with Christianity.”

      • ignorantianescia says:

        ??? That comment by me contained a question about music and two personal opinions on Christianity, Christian music and secular music. No assumptions, no siding with the abuser, no “fundamentalist progressivism”. Really, I don’t understand that reply based on what I said, because I don’t think there has been anything offensive in it.

        I hope you don’t find this post rude, because I do not intend to, but I doubt discussions will be a very good idea if we seem to have such different views of what said. Could you say where you disagree with my summary of that post, if you do?

      • Robert says:

        I’m confused as well. o_O

      • Nate says:

        Not to speak for Lorena, but maybe she thought your comment “a bit of a strange question, but…” was directed at biblereader, not at your own question. If she saw it that way, I could see where she might have assumed a different tone to your comment.

    • Its not that secular music or non-christian is wrong or is a sin, but does it glorify God. And because music in itself is such an emotional draw, I don’t RECOMMEND for christian to listen to secular music, but I would never call listening to secular music a sin.

  8. Ryan says:

    That’s difficulty with written communication. Much can be assumed depending on which words we place emphasis on and who these words are adressing. I think this discussion between ignorantianescia and Lorena provides an example of this. Now the post in question could be dissected, critically reviewed and discussed (if you could be bothered). I think ultimately its what the author intended to convey that matters. Not what this “could” mean according to the many readers, but what this does mean according to the writer.

    Anyway that’s my take on it.

  9. It seems, things got a little elevated, while I was work…

    In regards to christian, I really anything that sounds good and just glorifies God. I like christian rap and hip-hop like lecrae or flame. I like christian gospel like fred hammond. I like contemporary like hillsong united..(I think everybody likes hillsong, haven’t met a christian that didn’t)…I’ve listened to some christian rock….skillet. I;ve tried to get into casting crowns, but to me they are just ok.

    But I would say I like christian rap the most…..Here is an example of a song I liked…I did a short post on it.

    In regards to secular hip-hop and r & b, I actually don’t like secular rap that much though

  10. 5ecular4umanist says:

    From your self analysis and your critical reading of your Bible, it seems you’re on the path to religious non-belief. If you’re embedded within a religious community, I hope you find the support (locally and online) you need to continue along that path.

    As for your comment, “No I’m not cursing and talking about lustful things.”, not all atheists are forever cursing and lusting. All people are different, with wide-ranging personality types. I have never been fond of swearing except in extreme cases.

    Lusting…? No more than the average straight man, but I don’t shout about it and I keep it under control. As evolved apes, it’s natural (for straight types) to feel sexually attracted to the opposite sex and I don’t feel guilty to have such feelings. But we are also self-aware and have some control over our animal instincts. Society couldn’t otherwise function.

  11. no1NParticular says:

    It is quite possible you are experiencing what is known among Christian mystics the “Dark night of the soul.” If you have the opportunity and time to sift through some rather wordy but extremely helpful reading material I’d suggest the book of the same name by St. John of the Cross. Also there is a book called “the cloud of unkowning”. I’m on my best behavior here right now, so I do not like to speak as someone who knows, but I’ll tell you I’ve been where you’re at, and you cannot get past this without giving up on the the pretension that you have any knowledge at all aside from what you’re 5 senses and awareness are able to afford you. There are no answers, and there is absolutely no hope as long as you believe you are someone who is capable of solving the “God problem.” In the meantime, you can do all sorts of things, read, become an agnostic or atheist, listen to music that you’ve managed to convince yourself is unwholesome, but I can tell you are eat up with knowing what is real. And it doesn’t look anything like what modern Christianity passes off as the message of Christ. The message of Christ is completely hidden from a discerning mind, not out of cruelty though. It’s just the way it is. The mind thinks it can solve any problem, but it DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO with this one. So it rejects, then searches some more, and takes solice in knowing other people have decided to throw in the towel too, and it rationalizes that because the stories we are told don’t make sense, and our own high priests of reality do make sense (science, medicine, etc) that we have some definite knowledge about who/what we are. But we don’t. Not until we deny ourselves and make the trip. One thing I will say though, if you decide to trudge on, it cannot be out of any reaction to fear or not getting what you want from the world, or fear of reprisal and punishment from an angry God. Such is nonsense and has no place in a healthy person’s thinking. But whatever you do, I will not make a further nuisance of myself and wish you the best.

  12. This post is amazing! i wish i’d read this before i replied your atheist questions!

    what turned you away from faith? have strength, you know the decision you have made is the right one 🙂 logic and reason prevail.

    (ps, i’ve been atheist since i was 8 and STILL read the bible, although very VERY much differently now than when i was younger – its one thing that keeps me atheist!)

    • yeah, it seems that some of the atheist responses are lil heated, I had no idea it would be like this

      • i think (for me) its because i deal with a lot of fundamentalists on twitter and so by the time i came to this yesterday i was quite riled up. the same questions come up again and again and I could word my answers a thousand different ways yet they never get through to the people who ask me.

        I’m one of the shouty cross atheists most of the time, but i’m also a mother of 3 very bright intelligent girls and by all accounts i do have a heart of gold (not stone) only when it comes to the baffling concept of religion is when i get all jekyl and hyde 😉

    • I think I am starting to understand that, for example: throught this whole ordeal, I tried to be balanced and up both atheist and apologetic sources. So yesterday, I decided to watch some youtube vids on christian norman giesler (who actually is very respected in his profession) trying to refute Bart ehrmant, but after about 10 minutes I turned it off, because their was no edification. Half of it character attacks, and the other half was talking about he did not truly understand what his own profession is…

      So then I tried to watch some JP Moreland vids, they were a lil better, but still no edification or insight. Its almost getting tiresome hearing some of the apologetic responses, because I don’t find them sufficient or reasonable or satisfactory

  13. Gil Sanders says:

    This is quite a dangerous position to be in. Without prayer, you have effectively no way of attacking Satan and His devices. Without dependence on His word, you are like a soldier without a sword. You’re absolutely defenseless against the world, the flesh, and demonic influences…. And you dare come to the battlefield in such a state? I don’t know what your life involves here, but perhaps you need to take a break from looking at “error” and instead, finding “truth”. What if you looked at all the flaws in your wife and you made it your life mission to study it? You cannot honestly think that this would end well… You’re only getting one perspective. This is not healthy for any relationship, but that’s exactly what Christianity is, a heart-to-heart relationship with Christ. Not everything is about some “intellectual problem” that you need to address. There’s an experiential or relational problem here as well. This refusal to pray because you feel “silly” is itself silly and if I may say so, borderline sinful. When you don’t feel like praying, that is when you need to pray the most.

    Just pray. No excuses about how difficult it is to have a “one way conversation” because that’s what you have done to yourself. Why do you feel silly? No one is watching you or saying, “Haha! Look at The Bible Reader! He’s praying!”. Are you going to feel this the next time you read the Bible too? I also find it a bit disturbing that you could tell all of this to strangers on the internet, who may or may not be listening to you, while having difficulty telling your own wife. I don’t care what excuse you have for that, this is of prime importance. She needs to know and you need to be spiritually fed by her. How could you prepare for a youth conference when you’re rejecting God in your heart? This double-mindedness is the kind of sin that God hates the most. This is no longer just a healthy kind of skepticism, if that’s what you deceived yourself into thinking. Rather, it has reduced itself to sin and fear. Fear because you fear men, and yes, that includes yourself. Sin because you have let this go too far while knowing what the problem is. Perhaps it’s time you stop blogging and do some serious spiritual reflection.

    This is not a one way conversation, God has already spoken to you through His word. Guess who started that one way conversation first? God. He was willing to talk to you first, despite your attempts to ignore Him. Now you’re doing it again with these petty excuses. It’s even reflecting with how you behave with your wife! Instead of telling her first, you’re telling us. I think there’s something wrong with that. Look, ignore all of those feelings because at worst they’re the result of demonic influence or at best is the result of your own cowardly self. This is the God of the universe we’re talking about. You should fear NOT praying to Him and being judged in accord for your actions than fearing your own “thoughts” about yourself. Stop being such a wimp and fight back. I’m not sorry if this offends you, because that’s the Spirit speaking through your conscience speaking, but do know that I say this with all SINCERITY for your own good and I GENUINELY hope that you take these words to heart.

    I’ll be praying for you.

    • thanks for your prayers, but may I ask you a question? Do you believe the bible is inerrant, the perfect flawless word of God?

      • reyjacobs says:

        Nobody really beleives the whole Christian Bible is the perfect word of God. If Prots like Sanders who says “Yes I do” really did, they’d believe the passages that teach judgment based on works. Oh, but then they wouldn’t be able to believe the passages that teach faith alone! So what do they do? The opposite! They believe the passages on faith alone and deny the passages on works!

        Now, when I first realized the Bible was not inerrant, I only read it to find the contradictions and collect them (as you say you are doing) so I could justify myself to Christians basically. But eventually that wore off. I found a deeper appreciation of the Old Testament, for the Bible as history especially. And all that “I’m glad I don’t live under the Old Testament” brainwashing and “we have a better Covenant and a Better Mediator” stuff wore off after being out for a while. All that justification by faith alone and works are bad brainwashing wore off. I likes me the Ten Commandments and even the civic legislation of the Law (though not perfect) is interesting and enlightening from a historical point of view if nothing else. And honestly, the meanness of the OT, like all the killing, which bothered me when I was on my way out of Christianity, well that botheredness wore off a bit too. I mean, all nations haves wars and the Hebrews weren’t just a religion, they were a nation. Of course they fought their neighbors, and when these wars started, they used religion to give themselves the will to win. So what.

        As for contradictions, there are far fewer contradictions in the OT. Most of them are between kings and chronicles little numerical stuff. Doctrinal contradictions like you find between Paul and the Gospels (one saying works, one saying faith alone) are not so much there like between Deut and Exodus. The whole OT agrees that morality is necessary. The biggest contradiction would be between those prophets who require sacrifices and those who say only morality is necessary, but we know who won so its easy to pick sides with the moralist prophets. So the whole “the Bible is riddled with contradictions” thing applies mostly to the NT. I think a higher appreciation of the Bible can be found among those who left Christianity who can finally read it for what it says rather than what the church says it says. Amen.

    • Well I did too, until I came across the scripture in Matthew were Jesus is telling his disciples that John the Baptist is the Elijah. (Which was a prophecy that the spirit of Elijah would return before the Messiah)

      But then in the Gospel of John, John tells the populas that he is not the Elijah. (He is not the fulfilled propehecy.)

      This is the contradiction that actually got the blog started. Because after researching the two scriptures, it was explainable. And its too important of a scripture to pass over or ignore. If you want to go back through go right ahead…

      The reason why I bring this up is because—Would you still believe the bible if it has contradictions?

      If your answer is “It has no contradictions.” Well then I say great if you firmly believe this, because there is a whole host of atheist, who stopped believing because they thought there were contradictions in the bible, so if you could answer all these bible difficulties we could put an end to atheism once and for all.

      However if your answer is yes it has questions, but I still believe then how can it still be considered the inerrant word of God?

    • reyjacobs says:

      God spoke to you in the Ten Commandments, Sanders, but you refused to hear and made to yourselves and idol called Paul who gave you a religion of easy believism from Satan himself (so to speak). So you say “Its impossible to keep God’s Law; no we must believe in the suicide of a God-man to save us! And all we need to do is believe. In fact, if we do good works, God will damn us for trusting in our works!” Maybe God will damn you for ruining the morality of society with your lying idiocy. God spoke to you indeed, in the 10 commandments, but you were more wiling to hear the word of the murderer Paul and his smooth talk that scratches your itching ears.

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