Saturday, September 21, 2002                                                                                       View Comments

Thank-You

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to create and maintain this web site!! I visit it almost daily and it has helped me quite immensely.

Here's my story if you care to read it. After 9-11 I was in a total state of panic. With all the talk about it being the beginning of the end of the world and such I didn't know what to do. I started to talk to a co-worker who is a devout Christian and out of fear he convinced me to accept Jesus. I'm sure with no malice intended he saw an opportunity to convert another lost soul. He told me I needed to read the Bible daily and that God's word would be revealed to me. I started reading everyday and attending weekly Bible classes, but the problem was that none of it made sense to me and I couldn't understand it. There was so much contradiction it didn't make any sense. When I asked why I couldn't make sense out of it I was assured that I would understand when God decided to reveal himself to me. The old story of I just have to have faith was the usual response!

In the mean time I continued to have conversations with this friend. He told me about Revelation and the rapture and that the world is going to go through it all in the very near future. All this time the more I read and studied the more depressed and hopeless I felt. It affected my family life and everything. I love my family more than anything in this world and when I asked about my family I was told it was up to God whether they went to heaven or hell. That was the straw that broke the camels back, I couldn't take it any more. I didn't feel any peace and love when I read the bible, all I felt was despair, loneliness , depression, & etc.

To me the Bible is full of nothing but hate, anger, bigotry, death, destruction, all the things I abhor. You're site helps me to see things clearer although I must admit I do at times still have fear of the future, anxiety about what if the end times are real, worry for my family, and other things like that.

There's that nagging little doubt about not knowing what to believe. I have friends that say Nostradamus predictions are coming true and they correspond to the Bible and we are all going to be destroyed, things like that.

It's a little disheartening!

But little by little my faith in mankind and our self reliance and will to continue on is becoming stronger and stronger. I think mankind still has a long way to go and I think that the future will be better.

I'm sorry for rambling, I'm not a very intellectual man and it's hard for me to put my thoughts into words. Thanks for listening!!!

P.S. please don't post this, it sounds like babbling and is not very good!

R

R,

Thanks for the email!

Since you asked me not to, I will not post your letter to the site. I wish you would let me post it, or an edited version, if that would be okay, as I think it would encourage others.

I am encouraged and glad that you are helped by the site. If you have read my ex-testimony, or any of the others posted on the site, you realize that you are not alone in your doubts about religion.

Now that we are out of religion, it does not mean we have the answers to all of life's questions, but we do know that blindly believing what we know is falsehood just to be accepted, or out of fear, or because it makes us feel safe about hell, or fear of the end of the world, or whatever, is foolish.

Welcome to the thinking crowd!

Or rather, welcome back!


Dave VanAllen
webmaster of ExChristian.Net


First off thanks for replying. You are right, go ahead and post it. Please edit it as you see fit, just please don't include my name or e-mail. I don't really feel like getting into debates with people.....I've had enough! Again Thanks for you're time and all that you do, Keep up the good work!!!

R

Sunday, September 01, 2002                                                                                       View Comments

Thanks for this website!

Hello,

I just had to tell you how much I appreciate your site. I'm an ex-Christian also, and might just take you up on your offer to send along my own "testimony" in the near future.

One thing stood out when I read your story, and I just wanted to mention it because my experience was similar. When I was in 15 or so I attended one of these Billy Graham movie things too. There was an altar call at the end, and instead of responding to it, like you, I memorized the prayer to say at home later. And now I'm 41, and wonder why I did that - what made me delay my response? The only conclusion I can offer is that somehow I knew - deep down - that it was wrong for me. I had doubts, too many doubts, to commit in such a public way. Yeah, I did the whole youth group, street evangelism, Bible study thing too. But no one ever saw me make the commitment. Oh, don't get me wrong, my response in making the private repentance/conversion was just as real as yours. I had similar feelings. It was so private, though, that I can only say my behavior in not repenting publicly was an indicator of my doubts.

I left the church about 10 years ago - I did a little swinging back and forth for a while, but I attribute that to all the years of control that were programmed into me while I was still a Christian. While I was a Hyper-Christian (that's the term I use for it) my family and friends found me to be unbearable to be around. My mother recently pointed out to me that at that time I was in hyper-mode, I would not even discuss certain subjects with her - more evidence of indoctrination. When she mentioned this to me I told her I think the reason was that I was afraid that by talking about these things, I'd give Satan a chance to magnify the doubts I already had and would end up backsliding or leaving the church altogether.

Sometimes doubt is a good thing. I got my life back.

Thanks again for your site. :)

Sincerely,
Keket

Atheist charities and whatnot

I found your websites. I was wondering if you had any information on
charitable work by atheists. I am trying to research this.

Second, I would send you $10, but it is also written not to throw pearls to
pigs and whatnot. In balance, I would do it, but just curious where the
money is going.

Richard Hutnik


Well, to date I have received two donations of $10.00 - a whole $20.00!

The whole point of my plea is not really to make money, the point is to show that Christians refuse to obey the actual words of Jesus, if it involves money and contradicts their common sense. Jesus does not ask his followers to use their brains, he asks them to OBEY.

That is the whole point of that rant.

However to answer your question, my sites cost money to keep running. Server space and bandwidth cost money. My time is not even part of the equation, so any donations are to keep the site up, and alive.

Atheistic Charities to give to?

Atheism is not an organized sect of some religion. It would be better to say that Atheists are linked only in that they are non-religious. I know several atheists here in town and none of them are close friends of mine, not because of their opinion about gods, but because they have personalities that differ too much from mine to engender a close kinship. I think what you might be asking is for secular charities who collect for causes without any reference to religion.

The United Way is chock full of such organizations. This link is another place to look around. Just as identifying yourself as a Charismatic Church will narrow the field when it comes to donations, identifying yourself as a pure atheistic concern significantly lowers the possibility of soliciting funds for any cause. 84% if this country calls itself "Christian" while only 7.5% call themselves "non-religious." People are very prejudiced against an open atheism.