Moving Beyond De-Conversion?
Are de-converts able to move beyond Christendom? An honest question. Many of us invested our entire life into evangelical endeavours. Others are swayed by the subtle power of the various denominations Christianity have to offer. One thing is for certain, it has had an unbalanced effect on our growth as human beings (for better or worse).
While I believe my Dobsonesque childhood damaged me in certain ways, I am thankful for my evangelical upbringing if only for, ironically, my skepticism. My parents taught me to be skeptical of everything, other than my own religious views. I was to be on the look out for big government moves to a New World Order, raise a cautious eye to new religious movements (or “cults”), and question everything that society and science through my way. They just didn’t expect that they gave me the same tools to critique my own religious upbringing.
But what now? I continue to keep a skeptical view, including of the sociological reports I must read for my academic life as well as the science I read in pop culture. But what about the rest of my life? Can I move past that Christian worldview? Is it healthy to continue to brew on past beliefs? As a religious studies major, it is inevitable, and I probably have made it harder on myself by choosing such a discipline. But what about this site? Is it a help, or a hindrance to mature growth?
Are we ex-Christians sulking about, fooling themselves that we are providing positive reinforcements for other non-believers and soon-to-be non-believers. Or is it what we say it is – a resource for former and skeptical religionists? Perhaps health and instruction is not part of what we do. Perhaps we are merely deconstructers, allowing the faithless to flounder in their own philosophies of non-belief. Is it possible for this sort of community to act as just another crutch, another religious-like entity that cannot think beyond itself?
I present these questions not as a criticism, but an inquiry – not as a debate, but a conversation. When is it time to move past perpetual de-conversion and just live? For some of us, this article will ring more truth than others. We are all at different stages in our lives. What stage are you in? Is the project of de-conversion a healthy step, an immature one, or a little of both?
- The Apostate