Christians Can’t Handle the Truth of De-conversion

April 30, 2007 at 2:03 pm 58 comments

If you’ve ever talked with Christians after your own deconversion from Christianity you’ve inevitably run up against the old saw, “You must not have really been saved!” This annoying little sentence always sets my teeth on edge because as we know, this just reeks of spiritual pride and condescension. It also says more about one’s theology (eternal security believer) than about the state of anyone’s soul (as if we can ever know this). What fundamentalist Christians are really saying is, “Obviously you did not REALLY commit to my version of Christianity or you wouldn’t have left it” or “You do not fit into any of my categories so I’m going to dismiss your argument right off the bat.” Sheesh!

So, what does it mean to be deconverted from Christianity? Does it mean we know longer believe in religion? Does it mean we no longer follow Christ as the Messiah? Or does it simply mean that Christianity as an institution has failed and we no longer want to be a part of it? It can mean all of these or some of these things or even none of these things, but the point is, who can define deconversion but the deconverted themselves? It’s a different journey for each one of us. To scared fundamentalist Christians out there who can’t handle the truth of deconversion I want to say, “Shut up already and really listen to those who have gone through it!” Quit pasting your pat answers onto a complicated and painful journey. In other words, show some respect for those willing to think for themselves.

Am I angry? Damn right I’m angry. Many of us on this blog have been Christians for many, many years now. We’ve all had conversion experiences or we grew up in church. We’ve believed and prayed “The Sinner’s Prayer” sometimes 5 or 6 times during altar calls. We’ve been baptized in water and some of us have been baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. We’ve attended church 2 and 3 times a week. We’ve taught bible studies, prayed with the laying on of hands, visited the sick, sent encouraging cards to the home-bound. You name it we’ve done it. It was painful for us to leave our churches and our fellowships; to realize that we’d been fooled by slick preachers and marketed bible studies and potlucks and business meetings. The decision to leave it all behind didn’t happen overnight, nor was it easy. Yet, fundamentalist Christians are so flip about it they are sure that they can instantly intuit the state of your soul in one fell swoop. They have “the power.”

Fundamentalist Christians will ask us this question: Well what happens to the Holy Spirit that resides within us if we deconvert? Why, nothing happens, we say. The Holy Spirit has never resided in anyone to begin with. Technically, no one is really converted at all. If you “deconvert” from Christianity, you merely call into question the whole and entire Christian system of theology and institutional religion as put forth in a fallible bible and as taught by fallible Christian teachers and preachers. In other words, we are not expelling a spirit that supposedly comes to live in our “heart.” We are deciding that what we took to be true in the bible is not true. We’ve been duped by a nice story and wishful thinking and the lovely insights we received from “the Holy Spirit” are merely lovely insights within our own minds and our own hearts. The “mind of Christ” is really the perfectly fine brain evolution provided us with. The heart we are born with was perfectly fine all along. Like Dorothy, we just lost our way for a while. We mistook a fantasy for real life and after another good bump on the noggin, we’re doing just fine. There was no place like home.

So, to all you fundamentalist Christians out there, don’t tell us we weren’t really “converted” according to your methods, because most of us were converted and we found it unfulfilling, untrue, or it usually changed our lives for the worse. We were sold a bill of goods and now we want a refund. It ruined our relationships with our spouses, our children, and our neighbors, and it turned us into precisely the judgmental types we have always hated. What fundamentalist Christians are in essence saying to us now is that our experiences are not as good or as genuine as their experiences. Our experiences are false and theirs are true. Because our experiences don’t fit into their preconceived notions about Christianity they can now write us off. We are now safely consigned to Satan’s camp. However, if we would just do it again the way they claim to have done it, we would miraculously KNOW!! and be true Christians just like they are! Perhaps now that they’ve pronounced us NOT REALLY SAVED they can rest easy.

Or perhaps, they should examine their own lives more closely and ask themselves, ” Am I really converted? Did I really receive a “Holy Spirit” that made me instantly moral, righteous, and holy? Am I sure that God thumped me on the head and said to me, ‘You there…. go and judge your brother and sister’s spiritual life and report back to me!’ Or am I really just talking to myself?”

-MysteryofIniquity

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58 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dan Barnett  |  April 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    MOI,
    Oh Man! This sign is so emberassing. I know we disagree on whether reason backs up the Bible. I personally have found reason to back up my beliefs completely, but for a church to say that reason doesn’t back their stand is crazy.

  • 2. mysteryofiniquity  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Dan,
    Yes, I thought it was kind of amusing. :-)

  • 3. Karen  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    If you’ve ever talked with Christians after your own deconversion from Christianity you’ve inevitably run up against the old saw, “You must not have really been saved!” This annoying little sentence always sets my teeth on edge because as we know, this just reeks of spiritual pride and condescension.

    I have gotten this one numerous times, and there’s nothing more hurtful and frustrating, I agree. The worst part is that the comment is typically made in an end-of-discussion, I-know-you-better-than-you-know-yourself manner, while the commenters have their fingers jammed in their ears: “You weren’t really a Christian, you didn’t know Jesus, you couldn’t have been saved, la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you!!”

    It’s like they are so totally insensitive they don’t even begin to realize that they are calling you stupid (I didn’t “get” it, during 30 years of immersion in Christianity? duh!), a liar, or a fraud.

    Gee, that’s a nice discussion-ender, isn’t it? ;-) Talk about cognitive dissonance!

    When I get this accusation, I try to count to 10 and look on the person making it with compassion (once my blood pressure goes down). Like you mention, the accusation betrays the accuser’s fears about their own deeply repressed doubts. After all, if I was a true Christian and I walked away from belief, that means they could too! And that scares them to death, so they simply have to find another explanation.

    Some Christians I’ve interacted with who are open to dialogue will be willing to say, “Hey, I admit I’m surprised to hear that you’ve come to this conclusion after having been a Christian, but I respect you enough to take you at your word when you describe your spiritual journey.” That’s really nice, and it shows that peoples’ preconceived notions can and DO change if they allow themselves the opportunity.

    Other times, I’ve just been totally brushed off by smug believers who’ve made their conclusions and jammed their fingers into the ear sockets, period. Although one particularly vehement fundy went back and forth with me for quite a while and finally concluded that, yes, I really was a Christian, and since she believed in “Once saved, always saved” I would be going to heaven.

    Wow- what a relief to get the “seal of approval!” :-)

  • 4. Justin  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Hi again!
    I have to say that I disagree with you because I have found that Christianity is the most reasonable explanation of them all :) (haha, you’re probably cringing in your chair).

    By the way, you make some points about some unfortunately common practices within many churches today that push people away from the religion. Promising a “bill of rewards” makes one think: “what can God do for me”…and it is appealing when you are going through troubles! However, this is not the right mindset to have.

    Your right in saying that it “usually changes your life for the worst”. This has to do with the false expectations some churches sets up in order gain “converts” (although, it becomes evident that after trials, they fade real quick). Jesus talks about what it means to be a true Christian – and it differs greatly from the “prosper gospel” many evangelicals teach today. One example of people who hear the message of Christianity can be found in the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:1-9).

    Anyway, my intent is not to preach, just rebuttal – I enjoy reading your ideas. Your blog is really something – it has a great look to it (i think i might have told you that already)

  • 5. wilddoug  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    My guess is that this sign was put up to make you ask “Why?” it just didn’t work so well. Probably the premise is more along the lines of Proverbs 3:5 which says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not trust in your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” In other words, human reasoning alone is not suficient to understand the ways of God. Sometimes believing is seeing.

  • 6. mysteryofiniquity  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Karen,

    Excellent points Karen. You wrote:
    “The worst part is that the comment is typically made in an end-of-discussion, I-know-you-better-than-you-know-yourself manner, while the commenters have their fingers jammed in their ears: “You weren’t really a Christian, you didn’t know Jesus, you couldn’t have been saved, la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you!!” It’s like they are so totally insensitive they don’t even begin to realize that they are calling you stupid (I didn’t “get” it, during 30 years of immersion in Christianity? duh!), a liar, or a fraud.”

    This is so true. They are telling you that “you just didn’t hear the right sermon, preacher, etc. or that you didn’t adhere to the right form of Christianity. If you’d only_______, you’d see the truth.” It’s so frustrating because they AREN’T LISTENING. Your finger-in-ear analogy is dead on. :-)

  • 7. mysteryofiniquity  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Justin,
    I never went to a “prosperity gospel” church. I never believed that we would “get” anything material out of Christian belief. So I never bought into that. Nope, I was a good ole Baptist for 23+ years. Pretty normal stuff.

    Thanks for the comments about the web site. Stop by anytime! :-)

  • 8. Heather  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    What I love about the sign is that one could jump to the conclusion that everyone attending that church has no math skills, because math requires the art of reasoning and logic. Or speaking skills, because that also requires reasoning. Which would, in effect, mean that they have no faith, as no one was able to communicate to them about God, because communication skills (at least in terms of language and concepts) requires reasoning. Wow, I could have fun with this one. :)

    **They are telling you that “you just didn’t hear the right sermon, preacher, etc. or that you didn’t adhere to the right form of Christianity. If you’d only_______, you’d see the truth.” It’s so frustrating because they AREN’T LISTENING. Your finger-in-ear analogy is dead on. ** I have never been a fundamenatlist, and to even conservative Christians, I wouldn’t be considered one. But I can relate to the frustration, in terms of the lack of listening skills. When trying to explain to one how there are elements of the Bible I find horrific, or why I can’t take it literally true due to the mindset back then (in terms of science and the creation of the universe), I inevitably get accused of hating God, or really wanting to live in sin. It seems that fundamentalists don’t actually listen to what the person is saying or feeling, but use the Bible to interpret me.

  • 9. mysteryofiniquity  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Heather,
    Excellent point as well. They DO use the bible to interpret you. And me. And everything they don’t understand. It’s like you want to slap them and say, “Put that down and listen to me!”

  • 10. jonfeatherstone  |  April 30, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    What a rant! You go girl!
    To be fair, there are some very nice Christian folks out there. BUT … (here it comes) the worst type I have hit are the church-goers who through years of sitting amongst themselves have cultivated a smug arrogance. When I left the church and started my own discussion group (with other Christians who dont go to church) the reaction of the elders was ‘Jon, we are concerned that your group does not have the “covering of the church”. Arrrgggghhhh. Who the hell do these people think they are!!!!
    Jon

  • 11. Heather  |  April 30, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    MoI,

    ** It’s like you want to slap them and say, “Put that down and listen to me!”** Exactly. In circumstances like that, the Bible will always, always win. It’s very two-dimensional, sometimes, and somewhat disconcerting to realize you aren’t seen as a “person,” but almost as a Bible cut-out doll, or something.

  • 12. mysteryofiniquity  |  April 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Jon,

    Yes, I was a little peeved this afternoon and kind of bitch-slapped everybody with my blog, but I was goaded into it. Really!! :-)

    What gets my goat is that I still believe in God/de/ss. I just don’t believe in Christianity as we know it. I wanted to speak for those who don’t believe in Christianity anymore as well as express my own sentiments about that horrid phrase, “Well, you probably weren’t saved to begin with.” GRRRRR

    What you describe with your small group is the horrible need for power and control by some Christians over other Christians. What “covering” they want to provide is to tell you guys what to think. That’s so irksome and annoying. Women too are admonished to have this “covering,” usually in the form of husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. Control, control, control.

    Ok, I may calm down now. :-)

  • 13. mysteryofiniquity  |  April 30, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Is “bitch-slapped” offensive? Sorry to all the feminists out there. I should have said ???

  • 14. mysteryofiniquity  |  April 30, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Heather,
    I like that image, “Bible cut-out doll.” Complete with halo, robes, head coverings (for women) and Paul standing there wagging his finger at you. :-)

  • 15. Rebecca  |  May 1, 2007 at 8:32 am

    MOI,

    I just have to say this. I just have too. Here’s another scenerio I have seen played out on the internet.

    Theist: I was once an Atheist. Then I met God and was born again.

    Atheist: You were never an Atheist to begin with.

    I kid you not MOI.

    *sigh* We humans just can’t seem to accept the testimony and or witness of our fellow human beings.

    As I mentioned in one of your other posts, telling us we were never Christians is something I have run across on the net. Those who knew me as a Christian in real life wouldn’t dare say I was nothing but a Christian. They couldn’t possibly say otherwise without risking mocking their God.

    Initially, my deconversion was shocking to some. It is very scary for them, especially as we’ve had so many talks together about our collective questions and doubts. They are every bit as converted as I was. They know I know that they themselves walk a fine line where belief is concerned. When one deconverts it is as though the very foundation one thinks they are standing on, cracks. The ground starts to crumble beneath them. It often wounds them. That’s why I don’t believe in getting in anyone’s face about it because I’ve been in a place of standing on that foundation.

    All we can do is be who we are. People will reject us. They will attack us. They will discount every single testimony we give that authenticates our previous belief. There isn’t a stitch we can do about it, except to continue to be open and honest. If they can’t accept it, it’s their problem. We know the truth of our spiritual journey.

    I think it is easy on the internet for someone to discount someone’s stories. We don’t know one another face to face. We don’t see skin and bones here. We only see words. Nonetheless it is an important medium for connecting with others, for telling our stories, for our healing and don’t ever think you aren’t helping scores of people who are out their lurking, reading and feeling less alone in their journies as those of us who have been there, done that, reach out to others standing on some shaky foundations of their own.

  • 16. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 1, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Rebecca,
    Thanks for the pep talk. I needed that. Last night I was feeling particularly religious and posted an entry that seems downright maudlin on my own blog but very much heartfelt. But, I feel better this morning and am ready to take on the naysayers, doomsayers, and deconversion deniers for another day. :-)

  • 17. PB and J  |  May 1, 2007 at 10:24 am

    i keep trying to log in and cant on this page. so i wont be able to track the comments via wordpress. however, i still want to say a little.

    mystoiniq,

    quite a tough thing you raise. i agree with you that it is not the place of churchianity to tell you whether you were or werent “saved”. i agree that God is the only judge. but i also think you yourself cant judge either. i am not trying to be offensive or condemning. i myself cant judge myself. i just dont know if i am “saved”.

    what i would say though, is that i dont think being “saved” is something churchianity has any right to talk about. its for God alone. with that said, i think the “baptist” (i have been to a few southern baptist churches for a few yrs) idea that you “pray the sinner’s prayer” and are “saved” is an invention of churchianity. there is nothing that the Bible says about such, unless you take one passage of Paul’s out of context of the passage and the letter and the era.

    however, with that said, i dont know what makes a person saved. but i know its not just a prayer with our mouths. i know that God desires all of us, not just lipservice. so i think the reason we have churchianity condemning us so much is because they think that they are saved by their own little prayer, when in fact it was never that.

    dont know if that makes sense.

    peter

  • 18. tobeme  |  May 1, 2007 at 10:59 am

    I read your article with interest. As I read it, the question that keeps popping in my head, is why. What is the purpose of this article. Is it simply a rant or do you believe that some believer will read this and gain a better understanding and appreciation for your postion. Simply wondering.

  • 19. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 1, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Peter,

    Your comments make sense to me. However, you wrote, “i agree that God is the only judge. but i also think you yourself cant judge either.”

    I disagree that we cannot judge for ourselves our own level of “salvation,” if that’s what it is. We, more than anyone, know what we have said in our hearts to “God,” what we have “done” for the Lord, and how committed we have been to the “works” of the church; bible reading, prayer, service, discipleship, witnessing, etc. Only “God” judges that, but to flat out tell someone that they must not have been “saved” if they deconvert now is to callously invalidate one’s entire spiritual experience.

    I don’t think “churchianity” as you call it, can do that. Some claim to. Others want everyone UNDER authority so they can excommunicate you if you take a misstep or do something they don’t like, but ultimately it’s between the individual and their “God,” whatever form that “God” takes. And this is all assuming of course, that the salvation narrative is true and that people do get “saved.” I posit that perhaps it’s not true at all and in that sense no one is saved in any real way.

    As always Peter, I appreciate your respectful tone when you comment. Always a pleasure. :-)

  • 20. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 1, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    tobeme,
    Actually, I was ticked off at someone’s comment on another post. Once again the old bugaboo of “You must not have really been saved” reared its ugly head and off I went. It’s a rant, plain and simple. I wasn’t thinking much about the reaction, but there it is. I got some excellent responses from atheists though. Rebecca’s are especially helpful.

  • 21. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 1, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    tobeme,
    I also didn’t think that any amount of explanation on my part would make much difference to the already died in the wool fundamentalist. I did want to spur discussion about what deconversion actually means to people, which I make a feeble attempt at on my other blog: (www.thejourneyout.wordpress.com)

  • 22. PB and J  |  May 1, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    mystoiniq,

    i hear ya. i can see why such words would be hurtful. for what its worth, i am sorry for “christians” who have said such to you.

    i also dont think that people will be “saved” in the way they think. “Many will say Lord, Lord”…we did all this stuff for you…we said the “sinner’s prayer”….we lived a good life….we believed in You….we we we we we. but i believe the “way is hard and the path is narrow and those who find life are few”. if churchianity was more concerned about if they themselves were on the path, they might be less concerned with condemning other’s “salvation”.

    peter

  • 23. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 1, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Peter,
    But, what’s left after saying, “Lord, Lord…”, doing stuff for God, living a good life, believing in God… what’s left after that?

  • 24. Brendan  |  May 1, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    When people aren’t courageous enough to think for themselves, whatever symbols they wrap themselves in quickly become offensive (and often become dangerous, to boot). Christian mythology does mean something once one pushes past the concrete symbols and idiotic literalism.

  • 25. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 1, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Brendan,
    Interesting insight. I don’t think that we need to throw babies out with bathwater (to overuse a phrase). I’m open to new forms of spirituality and insights into Christian mythology.

  • 26. Robin  |  May 1, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    In my experience, when someone is judgmental and emotional about another’s diverse spiritual experience, I tend to think it is their own insecurity rearing its ugly head.

    Christians are trained to believe that bringing in more converts is proof of them bearing fruit. It is merely fear that causes people to wear masks and act so pious.

    Brendan, what you say is very true. Spiritual concepts are very difficult to express in language that is made for the material world. I think the Christian motif does a wonderful job of explaining existence once you take the institutionalized religion out of it. There are several websites that have interesting articles that are outside of the religious mainstream, but are still faithful to the bible.

  • 27. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 2, 2007 at 7:56 am

    Robin,
    Do share the websites!

  • 28. Brendan  |  May 2, 2007 at 8:38 am

    “I think the Christian motif does a wonderful job of explaining existence once you take the institutionalized religion out of it.”

    I agree. So too does the “motif” found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam (particularly Sufism), Baha’i, Quantum Physics, Ecology, Existentialism, and pretty much any great piece of art or literature – once, of course, you “take the institutionalized religion out of it.” The elementary truth is present in almost every cultural context if we can only learn to free ourselves from bondage to one set of cultural symbols and listen to the human experiences to which creative mythology points.

    The Truth is One, though the sages speak of it by many names.

  • 29. arrgjonsmad  |  May 8, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    my parents try’d to teach me that, but i have seen deconversion first hand and i believe its true.

  • 30. arrgjonsmad  |  May 8, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    pb and j,

    if i may, the Bible states that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart.

    Im going to say this the way i think it is ment, please hit me if im wrong.

    The reason for confessing with your mouth is so that all will hear and know that you believe in God, saying it is just a way to keep yourself from chickening out in front of your friends like i have so many times. The spoken word is not just for you, but for all those around you.
    Then there is the believing in your heart. This is the saving act i believe. Because only God can see your heart, and how you truely feel. This is pritty much all i have to say.

  • 31. PB and J  |  May 8, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    jon

    in the letter to the romans, paul does state that, but this is one verse among many written to one church with specific probs for specific reasons. so lets look at the context a little more.

    throughout romans, paul talks of justification coming through faith, right? but what does faith mean? you see, in today’s evangelical world, we think faith means some sort of prayer once in our lives. but thats not necessarily what paul meant.

    in fact, there is much more evidence that paul (being a very jewish rabbi) meant faith was believing in the heart, but this faith always coexisted with obedience. and paul shows this in his letter to the romans because of the examples of faith he uses. abraham wasnt justified for “believing in his heart” but believing God. we think, sure case closed, right? however, in context of the passage he quotes, it says abraham believed God and then obeyed Him. you see, its not really faith if there is no obedience.

    you should check out dietrich bonhoeffer’s cost of discipleship (or costly grace).

    peter

  • 32. Brendan  |  May 8, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    “you should check out dietrich bonhoeffer’s cost of discipleship (or costly grace)”

    If you do, keep reading his writings (particularly his letters and papers from his last year in prison) to get an understanding of how Bonhoeffer’s thought evolved throughout his life and his eventual conclusion that what was called for was “religionless Christianity” in “a world come of age.”

    “It is the nature, and the advantage, of strong people that they can bring out the crucial questions and form a clear opinion about them. The weak always have to decide between alternatives that are not their own.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 33. arrgjonsmad  |  May 8, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    sweet.

  • 34. arrgjonsmad  |  May 11, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    oh ya, faith without works is dead. duh.

  • 35. fireshadow48  |  May 29, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog. It is in my opinion a very well written, sensitive and honest blog.

    I grew up Southern Baptist. My deconversion began at age 16, but took years as it was difficult to let go. I tried all kinds of rationalization to hold onto it, even while seeking Truth elsewhere. I still have not found Truth, but I continue to look. I have let go of Christianity.

    I was not raised by my mother (my father got custody in a time when fathers rarely did). I met my mother at age 26. She was not religious. We got along great! She was rational and so was her husband. A few years ago, she converted to a fundamentalist Christian faith. Now she prays for my soul.

    My first reaction was intense fear. She immediately tried to convert me. She did not know about my deconversion. We had many difficult discussions and are now in an uneasy truce where religion is concerned. But she slips it in where she can, trying to convert me. Does anyone have any advice for me?

  • 36. HeIsSailing  |  May 30, 2007 at 7:16 am

    Hello fireshadow, welcome to our humble little site of heretics and apostasy. Feel free to comment on anything you see here.

    As far as advice, I have found that it is just best to leave religious discussion out of your everyday conversation with your mother. I used to try and convert members of my family. I did it primarily because I was afraid they would suffer hell, so it was out of great, and irrational, fear. Perhaps you mother feels the same way?

  • 37. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 30, 2007 at 7:37 am

    fireshadow48,
    Welcome!
    I agree with HeIsSailing. Leave all religious discussion out of the conversation. You cannot reason with fundamentalists. It’s just not possible. They will neither listen to you or accept any arguments you might have as valid. Trust me, I’ve learned from experience that this is so. Tell your mother that if God wanted to convert you, He would, and you are just waiting for confirmation of that fact. Put the burden squarely on God to do the converting.

    My mother tries to slip in her ultra-conservative rants now and then, but we all just ignore her. She can’t argue if everyone refuses to play!

  • 38. David  |  May 30, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    all religion is based on fear and ignorance, it is so hard to understand how any educated human can believe in tales from a book that was crafted at least 500 years after the supposed existence of “jesus”… have a read of “the god delusion” and then try to rationalize “the bible”…..

  • 39. fireshadow48  |  June 2, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you for the welcome, and commentary. My strategy is to ignore her “God” comments. It just saddens me as we used to be able to talk about anything. Now there is a wedge between us.

    I keep hoping it will run its course and she will get past it. Apparently my mother never had much religion in her past, so it seems like a panacea to her now.

  • 40. neo  |  June 3, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Hi guys and gals I am very impressed with the demeanor of this site. Christians and non-Christians having a nice civilized discussiion, who would have thought.

    I am currently in the process of deconversion from the fundamentalist independent Baptist church, it may even cost me my marriage. I have attented this denomination for nearly 7 years. I had adhered to all the Baptist do’s and don’ts during this time. I witnessed to everyone, gave my 10% no matter what, gave specialing offerings, help do work at the church, believed in an all powerfull God and was only concerned about pleasing him. Then I woke up! I become tired of making my family do without while I continued to give money to the church. We could not afford to go here or there or to do this or that but we could right a check every week without thinking twice. Then it dawned on me along with many other untruths that I had been feed. As a husband it is my job to take care of my family, how can I be taking care of my family if we cannot afford to do anything but can constantly give money to the church.

    The people at church really did not care about me and my family. They did not care if I could not pay my bills or if my house got repossed as long as they got their 10%. My wife and I work for a living and do not waste our money. We were always told as long as you give God will take care of it, yeah right. I know people that give money like crazy and believe 100% in their faith in God, yet bad things happen to them. The truth is that bad things and good things will happen to people wether they are a Christian or not. I thought if you loved God with all you heart and did whatever he wanted you to do that you would be blessed. I am not talking about living in a mansion or driving a Porsche. I am tlalking about just being able to live like a normal human being liking setting up a retirement fund, having money in the bank to cover unexpected problems that arise, living in a normal adequate housing and so forth. Of course I was told that I am materlistic and not where I need to be with God. All they really care about is making sure that I continue to think as they do. I will now be ostercized and be looked down on by my loving Christian bretheren because I now longer accept all their ways, I actually think. My wife has left the church for the sake of our marriage even though she is still 100% Baptist. It’s great to have your spouse see you as a lost and unsaved sinner just becuase you are trying to help your family.

    Basically because I want to have a decent house, adequate transportation, a savings account, a retirement package and actually be able to enjog life a little I am label as unsaved or a backslidder. I guess that makes me a horrible person because I want to be able to provide for my family. I lived this so called Christian life and really did not ever feel all they great emotions and happiness that was my rewared, actually I was miserable the whole time and felt that it was my falult that I did not have this great Christian ride. At the end the problem was not me, it was them. If all these so called Christians were really honest they would admit that they don’t have all these great glorious expierences either, but if they did that they might have to consider the foundation of their life may not be true.

  • 41. neo  |  June 3, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I apologize for the poor proof reading. I was kind of fired up when I typed it, sorry.

  • 42. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 3, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Neo,

    Welcome to the land of the de-churched. I’m a former Baptist myself and you have a similar story to tell. Most of those left in church will likely tell you, as they did me, that you either weren’t converted or you lived your Christian life expecting to get something, so no wonder you were disappointed!! But these kinds of statements are silly. Why? Because church people promise you all these things and more if you just do this, or this, or this…if, if, if. Well, we do all the things they tell us to and, well, here we are, no better off than we were if we’d never become converted to begin with.

    I’m glad to hear that you have become awake to the truth of life outside the church, because believe me there is one! It’s very freeing not having to live up to everyone’s expectations. It’s very nice to have your finances back after spending most of your life supporting an institution that couldn’t give a hill of beans whether you can support your family or not.

    I very sincerely hope that you can begin to get your life in order without the church telling you what to do. I’m in the process myself, as are a lot of folks on this blog. So, welcome Neo! :-)

  • 43. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 3, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    It would help if we recognized hypocrisy for what it is. I illuminate that the word ‘christain’ means Christ-like linguistically. What most of us have known as “christianity”, has nothing of the Understanding or knowing of Christ, in it. I’d call what we created a ‘jesus cult’.

    The basic fact of the matter is, so long as we believe in Guilt, we don’t believe in Christ. Guilt and Forgiveness are mutually exclusive concepts.

    What most ‘Christians’ worship, is suffering and guilt. And don’t like it when Universal Law of reaping and sowing is cited, to explain why so many keep suffering. Kinda like saying ‘if you don’t enjoy it, then quit asking for it’.

    Would have thought we would have cuaght on after the Holocaust, that is we sow arrogance, prejudice and bias, then we will reap it. I guess we’ve been too dumb to apply such basic principals, to our religious beliefs. Religious arrogance, religious prejudice, and religious bias.

    I stand by Univeraal Law which also integrates with Quantum physics. Ifwe don’t want to reap it, then don’t sow it. But of all things, don’t whine like a victim when Justice descends.

    If I believe I require coin of suffering to enter Heaven, then anything and anyone who brings this suffering upon me, has cooperated with my deisres.

  • 44. Chris  |  July 14, 2007 at 2:54 am

    It is good you have all realised the falseness of all these bogan religions. Who continue to split from one another and are unable to maintain a stance on anything. Unlike the catholic church who for the last 2000 years has stood up to the stupidity of society and not bent when people wanted to create a new religion. The church that is the trunk of a tree from which all other christian religions branch off, or as st peter says, “the rock”.
    You seem to have been fooled by these “silly religions” and should strongly consider returning to the branch, the rock and find out about the “Real” church.

  • 45. HeIsSailing  |  July 14, 2007 at 3:11 am

    WOW!! Our humble site has a most illustrious celebrity visitor!! Thanks for stoping by Cardinal Ratzin…. er sorry…. “Chris”.

  • 46. journalingwoman  |  July 14, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Chris,
    Every church thinks it’s the “real church.” Ho-hum!

  • 47. mysteryofiniquity  |  July 14, 2007 at 8:59 am

    journalingwoman,
    Excellent point! Even the Catholics broke away from the Orthodox because of their obsessive pride in their Roman bishop. So everyone’s broken off from everyone else. No church is the “real” church because the church is not an institution.

  • 48. John  |  July 15, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    journalingwoman,
    Chris wasn’t too far wrong, the catholic church can be considered an institution when looked at as if through the 10 commandments as their goals.
    Their is truth in what he is saying, that they have remained consistent.
    I wouldn’t dismiss him so quickly…

  • 49. journalingwoman  |  July 16, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    John,
    Why do you say I’m dismissive when Chris himself dismissed all religions but one as bogus? That’s a sweeping dismissal if I’ve ever heard one. One good dismissal deserves another.

  • 50. journalingwoman  |  July 16, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    John,
    Why didn’t you chastise HeIsSailing as well? He also “dismissed” Chris’ statement as excessively dogmatic. I smell the stink of sexism in your remark.

  • 51. neo2  |  August 14, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Hello Chris,
    I was just wondering if you could answer a question for me? How much did the Catholic church, aka the rock, the true church just pay off I mean out for sexual molestation charges?

  • 52. Vivy  |  September 9, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    I’m so thrilled to have found this site. This post describes what I’ve gone through a few times. It was enough to send me back to living the lie for awhile. Thank you for this blog!

  • 53. Anonymous  |  November 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    i’m sorry but i have to disagree with your
    ideas.
    not all christians cant handle the truth. a de-convert has made a personal decision, and personnally, i and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ embrace that.
    and they embrace anyone who is trying, but you jump to a conclusion that all Christians are one way.
    i believe that some do shove that in your face, but apparently youve listened to the same things as we have, you’ve sat in church as much as i have, i’m sure. i’m only sixteen. but please, embrace christians as they embrace you, we all need something to believe in, thanks.

  • 54. MOI  |  November 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Anonymous,

    I’m glad you disagree. No one has to agree with anyone else’s opinion if they don’t want to. I don’t believe all Christians are “one way” anymore than Christians should believe all de-converts are “one way.” There are always exceptions to every rule. However stereotypes exist because there are germs of truth in them. I’ve never met a Christian that didn’t think de-converts were completely wrong in their decisions, so until I meet one, well, I’ll let you know.

    I hope as you mature in your faith you keep the open mindedness you display here. We don’t all need something to believe in. Simply living and loving has its own rewards.

    thanks for the comment.

  • 55. MP  |  June 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    De-converting believers with the real truth

  • 56. Thomas  |  June 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Just want to add (in reaction to the OP) that Christianity did change my life for the better. I found my Christian life very fulfilling. The only thing is that deconversion chnaged it for the even-better-still.

  • 57. MOI  |  June 5, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Thomas,
    I agree. Christianity changed my life too. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. However, coming out of fundamentalism was the best thing I ever did. Thanks for the comment.

  • […] had many such deconversions in my lifetime. I de- and re- convert quite often, sometimes daily. It’s all part of the […]

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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