How was your atheist phase in life and how did you found God?
Our old atheist times
At 15 I found out the bible was written by different men who just kind of agreed on what God wanted which made me disregard the bible mostly.
Then I also thought that just being good would be enough so I wouldn't need to do all those silly rules to get into heaven.
About 6 months ago now I realized I actually knew nothing of Christianity. Raised protestant but I didn't even know what sola's were. Reading the books recommended on this board made me realize that any presumption I had on the faith was ignorant and wrong.
Now I went to mass for the first time last week.
God bless you brothers.
Slowly fell out of faith from lack of contact and not really going to church. I did not understand the faith fully then. At least I did not went edgelord, just an empty husk. Everyday, it was hatred, rage, hedonism, vainglory, lust, etc. Freedom became a prison that is full of pleasure; it was desecrated to the max.
Then many things happened, I sank really low in life to the point I want to eat a bullet and end it all but cannot. I realised something, I know that what is "norm" in this world is driving me insane. Social media, vainglorious competition, greed, etc. I cut myself from them. I realised later that is what He meant by cut off the hand that sins. I felt empty, but not in a bad kind of way. This emptiness felt like clarity, cleansing, purification. But it is not enough.
Then I stumbled upon this place. That was when I realised that even in the lowest place, he will be to catch you and raise you up again, our Lord is there for us. Then from ground up, studied the faith, try to understand Him better. I am not there yet (my family does not allow me to convert), but I am coming home, brothers.
Bless you, Christanons.
I was never an atheist. Anyone else here like me?
I wasn’t either, but I fell for the Gnostic meme for a short while.
I wasn't reallly an atheist. I always knew that God, angels and demons existed, but until two years ago I didn't care about that, it wasn't part of my life.
Only when I had a mystical experience that I decided to take my faith seriously
Same here, I've always believed. There was a time when I objected going to church though, thankfully I've been cured of that.
Would you mind telling us your story?
I have similar story about my faith.
I was forced to attend Catholic Sunday school by my parents, and my classmates where jerks and idiots, they bullied me and the teachers didn't care, even when it was done under their eyes. I thought: how can these people follow Christ when they allow unfairness to happen under their watch?
I started seeing the hypocrisy of the lukewarm Christian, but blamed it on all Christianity, then joined internet groups that advocated for atheism (fedora like).
I was a child back then, and I was forced for more years to endure the Sunday School, and grew to hate the Church.
Growing up, I started to see reason, and I abandoned some degenerate views, and started understanding that God could exist. When I studied Aristotle in school, it rang the bell needed, his argument about the Prime Mover convinced me that I needed to dig deeper and understand the thing. I studied a year abroad in an Orthodox country and I studied on my own Aquinas and Christian philosophers and Church Fathers, and when I participated in a Liturgy, I finally understood that Christ is the Truth.
It's been a year now, and I still have doubts about the denomination (please, don't start a debate or anything, this is not the topic) between Catholic and Orthodox, but my faith in Christ is now coming, after I understood it was the Truth though for much time I didn't believe in it. It came through prayer. I am in my longest streak in nofap by now and I'm happy. I'm no more the raging child who hated the world and all its inhabitants, but a struggling man that fights everyday to become better, more Christlike.
My patron saint during the conversion was the Doubting Thomas, whose name I took when I was baptised, but I now feel Augustine (pic related) is a better patron now that I believe.
Thanks for that great story user. I want you to listen to this Old Roman Chant by Ensemble Organum. You may notice that it sounds similar to Orthodox chants/prayers, and that is because it is. Old Roman Chants adapted some aspects of old Orthodox chants. I believe it may help you in your journey.
Deus Vult, infidel
In short: (all Protestant) youth groups and the cliquey, insular people in them (who had bullied me for stupid shit, like all kids do, but then claimed to be loving Christians) drove me away from Christ during my teenage years. I remember reading Hitchens's God is not Great and being *~edgy~*. Studying philosophy and other religions ultimately led me back to Christ; there is such a massive body of philosophical/theological work for Christ, and I have just barely skimmed the surface. Thanks, Søren Kierkegaard.
Kierkegaard helped me too a lot. He's great, I wish I had the time now to study him more.
Thank you for the beautiful chant, user. I believe that Western Rite Orthodoxy chants these too (unfortunately there's no western rite parish in my country)
I sort of just fell out of the church at 15. For a short time, I became pretty fervently atheist and listened to and read things by people like Dawkins, TAA, Thunderfoot, etc. After a while, I completely lost interest in atheism and found myself wanting something more, like there was certain itch that atheism simply couldn't scratch. I explored a variety of different so-called Left-Hand Path belief systems like Wicca, Satanism (yes, really), druidism, and other forms of Paganism, but none of them really fulfilled me. I also briefly explored Buddhism, with much the same result. Eventually, I gave up and lost interest in religion entirely for several years.
Around 16-17, I fell in with a group of friends that smoked weed, drank, dropped acid, and the like and I did some pretty stupid shit. There were a couple times where I almost died (once, I busting my head open while on acid, the other, I suffered alcohol poisoning) and they made me completely reevaluate my life decisions.
I largely laid off the drugs in college, but I still used them occasionally, and the only friends I really had during that time were atheists I met in a student group, especially seeing as how I was going to uni in a different city. I was actually starting to turn myself around for a bit, and I even volunteered a bit with Habitat for Humanity. But then, I fell into a deep depression and lost all interest in anything except going to parties, getting high, and playing vidya. Eventually, my grades suffered and I got kicked out of school.
I fell back in with my old group and they hadn't really changed much, except that some of them were starting up a metal band and they'd started getting into harder drugs. I played the electric bass for their band briefly and went to parties and got smashed on a weekly basis. Eventually, I tried cocaine and, while I didn't love it, I found that I wanted more. At some point, when I realized I was craving hard drugs and my life was going nowhere but downwards, I realized that I needed to get away from that group for my own sanity.
I think it was around that time that I found God and Christ. I started browsing forums like r/Christianity and eventually this place. I can't exactly remember what it was since it was quite a while ago. There wasn't a sudden revelation or an intense spiritual experience. I just found gradually that I could no longer logically accept any explanation for the existence of anything that didn't start with God and, eventually, that Christianity was the most logical conclusion with the most physical and historical evidence supporting its claims. I think, maybe, God wanted me to realize how empty I was by abandoning Him and that I really did need Him and He guided me towards Him when I was ready, but He never forced Himself onto me. Now, I don't think I could ever go back.
That's the condensed version of my story, anyways. It's entirely possible that I missed some things, since all of this happened over the course of about six or seven years. I cringe hard when I think back on how I was as an atheist, especially in those early days when I may as well have walked around with a neckbeard and wearing a fedora. I'm much better off now than I was then.
I was raised by two cultural catholic parents
My father is an well intentioned but ultimately ignorant person, that only recently started to go to Church with me. He was the one who alway told me to respect God, to have faith and those little generic things.
So I always knew God existed, I just didn't care because He wasn't on my life, he was somenthing more abstract. When things got bad on my life I would curse God, but I would always ask for forgiveness later, for I knew that what I did was wrong.
Demons and evil spirits I knew that existed because they would appear on my house.
When I was 4 to 6 I was fearful of going to the kitchen, since i thought there was a monster there. A black shadow, in the shape of a man, with red eyes. It would occasionaly appear on the rest of the house.
I was always fearful of these 'shadows', and would run away and ask God to protect me.
So I was, and still am to a certain extent, extremely superstitious, and always feared urban legends and other spooky things.
My relationship with my faith began to change when I was 12 years old. I was doing bad at school, and I promised God that if i passed that year I would pray before sleep every day.
I did pass, and with some unusual ocurrences, such as answers to questions on tests that would come out of nowhere to my head, even when I had no idea how to answer the questions.
When I was 15 i began to develop depression, and I felt a great void on my heart. Worst of all, the 'shadows' began to appear again, comfirming to me that they weren't just childhood imagination.
At 16 I decided that I couldn't live in this 'atheist' lifestyle anymore, and that I should worship a god, any god.
I rejected satanism and occultism because I knew those things were evil, but I also rejected christianity because it was 'boring'. I wanted a 'cool' faith, and I had decided on norse paganism. Just as I was browsing a site about norse paganism and considering converting, I felt a great light on my heart, that seemed to say Don't do that(I am sorry if this seems confusing, its the only way I can express what happened with words). I immediatly closed that site, returned to the Catholic faith and decided to initiate my Cathecism and have first communion.
Pic related, the 'shadows' that I saw looked like these
No clue how it is to be f'd up by demons. Actually I do, but that's nothing I can post here. Anyway, what I want to tell you is: Being superstitious is a sin. There are two reasons you don't have to be superstitious - despite it being sinful. First of all, you are giving these evil and unclean spirits room. Because when you are superstitious, you are fearful, and that gives them room to fiddle with your head - because that's what demons do (except in some very rare cases where it becomes also physical). The second reason is that you have nothing to fear. They can fiddle with your head and with your situation and everything but you have this one trump card that is Jesus Christ and his blessed mother. There is literally no reason to be afraid of demons - maybe of the sp00py ones in the movies, but only because of the shock value (btw indulging in these is scandalous, because it incites superstition again) but definitely of the real world types - because your faith is your shield and God protects us. God provides for everything as long as we are faithful. And if you're really scared in a situation, pray Psalm 91. But one thing I want to emphasize here: Do NOT use any prayer you find on the internet for exorcism regards. There are some, not the least the exorcism of St. Michael. These kinds of prayer(s and prayer rules) are only to be said and utilized by people with apostolic authority, i.e. bishops or specifically appointed priests. Using them on your own can inflict more harm than anything.
But on the other hand, even St. Therese of Avila said she'd be more afraid of people being afraid of the devil than of the devil. Because afraid people do stupid and - again - superstitious things that invite demonic scum in first place.
Oh and one more and very very important thing I want to give you - in case you didn't know yet: Pray the Rosary piously and with zeal. It is literally a spiritual weapon of mass destruction that the blessed mother revealed there. If you regularly pray the Rosary, evil will be kept on distance and only your own superstition and sin can invite them. It is a big 'GO F' YOURSELF' in the face of this evil scum while diving deeper into the live of Christ through the eyes of our blessed mother.
Moral of the story: Praise God, that you found your way to the Church ! Don't be superstitious but if you happen to be in fear, pray Psalm 91 and read in Scripture, regularly pray the Rosary and most importantly, do nothing that is above your authority (I can't emphasize that enough), because there as a serious chance that it can backfire pretty harshly.
God bless bro.
But…Then how did you find this wretched website?
Incredibly hopeless and full of despair with no end in sight
broke down emotionally one night, asked God to reveal himself to me if he did in fact exist. Began to lean more toward "maybe there is a God" and play devil's advocate with atheist-types.
Eventually found (now) wife who introduced me to the Church. After investigating, researching, discerning Catholic faith and going to RCIA for about a year, I was baptized.
Things have been getting better and better every day since that one night.
Thank you for your words brother.
When I say that I am superstitious, its more along the line of 'I will not try to do the ritual of Bloody Mary* or the Midnight Man', since I know that these things are evil and that I would be inviting demons into my house
Its more of fear, as you said, than the 'black cat crossing your way is unlucky'
I am indeed a fearful person. I fear social interactions, new experiences, among other things, but I really fear demonic activity. Maybe because of movies, games and anime, but they really gave me fear of the Morning Star and his legions.
Sometimes I think that my parents are a bit disappointed that after 18 years, their only son is still a fearful little child that hides behind their legs.
*On the Bloody Mary ritual, I had a very bad experience when I was a child. Me and my friend did that out of curiosity and bravery, but I got home with an uncorfortable feeling. The same night my friend calls me on the phone and says that there is some evil spirit on his house. He was afraid and scared, first his dog saw it and began growling at the place it was, then my friend saw it too. He called me crying, asking what he should do. I told him to pray and to ask God for protection, and to have Faith on God. He did that, and after a while the evil spirit went away.
This kind of thing, along with the 'shadows' that I would often see in my house, is another reason why I fear to interact with evil and demonic entities
You know, Bloody Mary comes from Mary I of England, who was a Catholic monarch. She's known as Bloody Mary because she killed Protestants. Which I'd say is a bit of a double standard seeing as how her sister, Elizabeth, is fondly remembered even though she killed way more Catholics than Mary killed Protestants.
Yes, I know of the name, but I was talking about the Urban Legend.
You know, the one where she is an evil spirit that, when you call her name three times in a mirror on your bathroom with the door closed, ligthts out and a candle in hand, at night, she will come and kill you in a very gruesome way.
Mind you, me and my friend did the ritual the wrong way. Although we tried to be brave, we were very scared to do the whole thing, so we just call her name three times at the mirror that existed on the classroom of our school, with the door open and in broad daylight.
From the time when I started giving the matter serious thought until the present.
the caricature of anti-christian edge lord. I could barely remember any of it except that i have a negative opinion of Christianity. Its so unreal to me.
Don't mistake superstition and actual historicity so to speak. We know of "bloody Mary" of England. But if you do a ritual like this - and it IS a ritual, because it involves paroles (i.e. the phrase), it involves a special setting and it involves candles (i.e. tools to-, just tools, leave it like that) and it involves superstitious belief - then you attract demonic spirits. That is to say, even if someone did it wrong, it's the intention and your make-belief that's behind it that can draw in evil. That is why it doesn't matter "how" superstitious you are, because if you are, you already set up yourself for something that might take a bad turn.
Summa summarum: Don't do this shit, not even (or more like: especially not) out of curiosity. Curiosity with regards to such matters is highly sinful as well in case anyone didn't know. Do as the Lord God commands, be charitable and love your neighbor as you love yourself. See also my post from above .
My parents are lapsed Catholics. So growing up, I was taught the Bible and about Christ, but we never went to Church on a regular basis, usually only on Easter. In my adolescence, I became atheist. I don't even remember why. I think it was because I couldn't believe that there was a loving God that let all this suffering into the world, and feeling that Christianity was only something I got taught as a child because everyone is brought up that way, not because it is the truth.
So in my teenage years, I became heavily atheistic and nihilistic. I believed that all of our existence was meaningless. However, my mother is a very spiritual person, as well as a strong believer in the paranormal, such as ghosts and demonic possession. I always held these things to be true, even as an atheist, because of the amount of evidence my mother had shown me as a child, as well as my own personal experiences with the paranormal. This was conflicting inside me, I had this strong belief in nothingness, that we have no souls, we are just meaningless flesh, yet I still believed in ghosts.
I have been depressed all my life, and in my late teens it began to grow stronger and stronger. These concepts of meaningless existence only held down my depression into my soul, like a chain. I felt that I was worthless, I was unloved and nobody cared for me, I felt like the entire universe was against me. I had attempted suicide, and having failed my friends and family gave me help I needed. I began reading Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard. This idea of my life being special to God, the ultimate being, was making me feel like my life had meaning, and that I had value. I took a leap of faith and turned to Christ. Ever since, I've felt that life is worth living and that I am eternally loved. Christ has made me happier than I've ever been.
I am still conflicted with denomination though, I've been interested in Catholicism as its the religion of my family and ancestral background, however Orthodoxy seems like the best church to me. I want to get engaged with the Orthodox church, but being in America, there only so few Orthodox churches near me. I'm not sure how I can even join either church.
I'm a theistic nihilist.
I believe in God but my life is his creul cosmic joke and there's no meaning.
what did he mean by this
I was a really jaded asshole atheist who would take his anger out on Christians because i gave up trying to understand God as a child.
I found a real need for God when i discovered how evil the word is.
I can relate to this, despite confidently finding God, i feel like humanity/the world is lost. But at the same time i know shouldn't feel like this because i know i have a God who loves me. There was a really good podcast that talked about depression from the spiritual christian perspective and a summary was, there will be depressed people who will not see the blessings that God puts forth on them. I would share it, but it's in Spanish.
I think I've always believed, it's just for the longest time the thought of eternal life was frightening to me and I wished for non-existence after death to be true so I was wishing atheism were true for a little while, but I never had faith in it for a reason.
TFW after a life of nothing but failure, depression, disappointment, fear, meaningless, confusion, loneliness, social failure, isolation, and unanswered prayers, you reach your breaking point and KYS then go to heaven and God asks "Why did you kill yourself?"
So, a gnostic?
How did you get gnostic out of that?
A long post, but I want to share it. My family is Episcopalian, and as a kid we went to church twice a year, on Christmas eve and Easter Sunday. I really didn't know much about Christianity growing up or why people centered their lives around it, because my parents never really explained it. I went to a shitty public school and I needed to leave, so I went to a Catholic school for 9th and 10th grade. Although it wasn't as bad as public school, I still hated it. I was getting to the point in my life then when I could think for myself, and although people taught me about Catholicism there, nobody ever gave me the "why." I got the impression that the believing Catholics were hypocrites who didn't know why they believed what they believed, and that religion was basically science for stupid people. I was never fully an atheist, I was always willing to entertain some notion of a higher power, but I did think that religion was silly and I was semi-fedora'd. One of the reasons I was never fully atheist was because I had encountered actual ghosts/demons in my life, so it was hard for me to accept a materialist worldview.
When I got to college, I became intensely interested in philosophy. I took a lot of philosophy classes and became friends with several of my professors, and I quickly saw that finding the truth was much better than just winning arguments. Early on while studying philosophy, I was talking to one of my professors about belief in God, and he stopped me before I could go on and told me that most contemporary debates on theistic belief are incredibly intellectually impoverished, that both sides are talking past each other, and that if I wanted to meaningfully believe or disbelieve in God, I needed to first find out what God really is, the best possible arguments defending God, and figure out how they are wrong. That sent me on a bit of an intellectual journey. I found out that some of the best living philosophers are actually Catholics, that the Christian intellectual tradition is deep and powerful, that the new atheists are really saying nothing new, and that there are good responses to everything they have to say. I also discovered the bliss and healing power of grace from God. I came to assent to a formal theism (although theodicy is still hard) and I think that Christianity is the best theistic tradition for a number of reasons, although I still feel alienated from any particular church, and I don't really know which one I should join. Orthodoxy and Catholicism are at the top of my list, however.
I realized that, if anything, unbelief is an opiate rather than belief. Isn't it much easier to believe, that after you die, there's just nothing? That it doesn't matter how lazy and degenerate you were in life, or even if you were a criminal or a murderer, because in the end (or at a time of your choosing, through suicide) you'll be able to slip away into the darkness and never have to pay your debt. It's much more frightening to think that there is an ultimate index of goodness out there, which we are either succeeding or failing to live up to, and we will eventually be judged against it. That puts actual demands on your life, and makes you (1) work to find out what the index of goodness is and (2) try to live up to it. I saw that being an atheist/nihilist was a dead end and that religiosity offered a way out of the worst traps of the modern world (consumerism, degeneracy, complacent nihilism, etc).
So that's how I ended up here.
how did you got out of it?
I never actually went full atheist. Even as a kid, I found those people obnoxious. I wasn't even raised religious. I just can't stand people who think they know it all.
But if I believe in God shouldn't I believe in the devil? I mean, the whole point of being superstitious is believing in this stuff.
That's terrifying user. Stay safe and may God bless you. Listen to the video I embedded, it may give you strength, I know it has for me.
Mind telling me where you got these pictures? I had a similar experience where there'd be a shadow person around the house. During the daylight I could see the outline of said figure around the house. Even now I see things from time to time in my times of wavering faith and this experience is very similar to mine. The figure would even appear in my dreams during times of negativity in said dreams with red eyes just as you described. Praying for you my brother.
Same, but I did go through a "modern" catholic stage for awhile.
I've been an atheist for 7 years during elementary and high school, i fallen into the fedora meme and started to believe after finding some christian threads on Zig Forums and started to research bible on my own, i started going to church but i didn't confess my sins yet since i don't remember the words for it and i'm kinda ashamed of the things i did and i have no idea how to phrase the sins i commited, also i don't know many prayers besides our lord art in heaven and some to virgin mary
Not that user, but most people who experience sleep paralysis see the same figures, although he was apparently awake when these things appeared.
Uhh, you should probably tell a priest about those "shadows" and where you found them.
I'm in no position to say this but I'm pretty sure that was a demon toying with your mind.
I just searched 'shadow people' and 'shadow men' on google images.
Yes, I experienced them when I was awake and well.
I see shadow people every night. Prayer only makes more of them come so I stopped praying at night and just turn towards the wall so I don't have to see them.
I was atheist, but in middle school I went through a phase where i tried to ignore the fact that God is real and he exists and cares about me. I was like this until the later half of my sophomore year in high school. Then I stumbled upon a group on FB called "/rel/- religiously intolerant" and my faith started to blossom once again. I often find myself going in and out of God but I know I'm diffidently better than I used to be. I attended my first mass at an american civil war reenactment in kentucky last year. I haven't been to mass since because of my family. My dad is a nondenom prot and my mom is idk shes just weird and my brother is agnostic at the moment. so, yeah. Please pray for me Zig Forumss and help me on my journey homeward.
* i wasn't atheist
Hey same here. I never doubted the existence of the preternatural and supernatural because I'd come literally face to face with those beings. Once it appeared as a monstrous black head (seemed like it was covered in fuzzy hair like a bat) and was staring at me intensely, but I just looked back at it. My cousin was there and she ran out of the room to call my parents but they never believed us
You people are not sufficiently alarmed by the demons which have evidently come to terrify you.
Talk to a priest already!
DON'T STOP PRAYING
SEE A FUCKING PRIEST BEFORE IT GETS WORSE
I fell for it as well as I was searching for authentic Christianity and also stumbled across the traditionalist school which I honestly believe might be related to the Antichrist in the future.
Good post, I had my experience trying to summon UFOs back when I didn't know any better. Keep in mind the YouTube vid is from the mid-2000s when commercial drones didn't exist.
After my brother and mother died I became a diest. I figured that god created the universe just because he could, and that after he created it, he went off to do something else. I was young (around 12), so I was kind of ignorant to a lot of things in Christianity. My catechism didn't teach me much, and I largely viewed going to church as a chore. I didn't know the purpose of it. Eventually, I converted back to Catholicism partly because I don't trust my own judgement on a lot of things, and partly because I would have killed myself by now if I didn't.
Provided you're not suffering from schizophrenia, that's a deception. The demons are leaving you alone purely because you're playing into their hands.
I was an atheist apatheist for 20 years… My occultist girlfriend had an illumination and became a believer in Christ, although she tried to look into Islam first. I was angry, but still decided to read the Bible out of curiosity. Then after finishing to read it I wanted to be a Catholic, but one day I stepped into an Orthodox parish out of curiosity, incidentally when they were giving a presentation of the Church, and I was won over.
When I was an atheist, things weren't very different… I was a sinner, like now. I didn't care about death though, but now I'm terrified.