Posts filed under ‘809334’

Leaving a Faith: What to Expect

This last year and a half I’ve watched my own attitude change as I left the faith and slowly learned to deal with all the emotions. In the process, I’ve watched countless others go through similar experiences and I can’t help but notice this pattern:

A person de-converts…

1) Loss

De-convert feels extremely sad, a sense of loss and remorse, struggling to cope with a worldview without a Personal Deity. Thoughts of meaninglessness and suicide are often overcome by curiosity about the real world that drives the person to learn.

2) Learning

De-convert spends massive amounts of time devouring new information, studying whatever topics that can help them overcome their particular questions or issues related to their time in the faith – now that their mind is free from restrictions on what to study. In the same way a starving man may first devour tons of food as soon as he is allowed access, a de-convert begins to devour information to help his or her starving mind and curiosity. This period is normally filled with tons of forum browsing, blog post writing, commenting, reading, debate watching, skeptic society attending, new friend making, etc.

3) Discovery

De-convert has learned just how inane their belief system was.

4) Anger

De-convert feels angry at everyone who they feel – intentionally or not – lead them wrong. This period is normally filled with attempts to de-convert others, to speak rationally with those still in the faith, and attempts to immunize others who are outside the faith. All of this is done out of the goodwill to keep others from going through the same thing and to rescue those still inside the belief system they now realize is so stupid.

5) Exasperation

De-convert’s loving and respectful attempts to speak rationally with those still in the faith become so predictably insane, the de-convert begins to wonder how in the world anyone could ever believe that stuff. All attempts to talk with those inside the faith leave the de-convert feeling helpless and as if communication is impossible.

6) Indifference

De-convert begins to feel that all attempts to be respectful toward those in the faith system are useless. Resignation seems to be a common feeling at this point. The de-convert becomes resigned to a world where people believe stupid stuff and there isn’t much you can do about it because reason is undermined in the minds of the faithful. A sense of “it’s not my problem” begins to overcome the individual.

7) Determination

Note: this one seems to depend upon how much interaction with religion a person has after leaving the faith and how much perceived harm it is causing in their life.

The de-convert begins to notice just how much pain and problems faith truly causes because he or she sees how much reason could solve. The attitude begins to shift from resignation and respect of religion to a growing sense of near hatred toward it. Religion itself becomes an enemy like cancer, malaria, or any other disease. This can lead to militant atheism, depending on how much pain the de-convert perceives religion causing in their world. As the de-converts comfort in a worldview without faith begins to strengthen, their determination and confidence rises.

Where are you in this journey?

- Josh

Continue Reading November 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm 85 comments

A Letter to Me

Josh,

That’s an excellent quote [quote from Ken Daniels], and a great attempt at defining the world view of the post-modern skeptic. However it is only valid if one of the two following statements is true:

  1. There is no god, or
  2. if God or the gods exist, they are unconcerned with revealing themselves to man and have left mankind alone to sort out things all by themselves.

I don’t believe either is true.

I maintain that an all powerful, infinite Creator does exist. I think that is self evident in the creation itself. For those who deny it, I believe the burden of proof lies in their court to prove that God does not exist.

I also maintain that this Creator God does reveal Himself. He reveals Himself to each person who honestly and humbly and incessantly seeks after Him, and sometimes even to those who don’t.

I base this upon the historical record, also upon personal experience and also upon the testimonies of countless others who, like me, have had unmistakable, life changing encounters with Jesus Christ. No longer is He just the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but now He is the God and Savior of [name withheld].

Can I explain it? Not really other than to say that He continually opens my spiritually blind eyes to recognize Him for who He is — the Almighty holy and perfectly righteous judge of all His creation, and me for who I am, — a wretched despicable sinner, desperately in need of a savior. As a result, I now also understand the truths of Scripture that I had previously not understood. For those who can’t make heads or tails of it, I must conclude that they don’t truly know their Creator.

My prayer is that my God would open your spiritual eyes to see the wonder and the majesty and the beauty of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, and that He would rescue you also from the wrath to come, which will come upon all who refuse to turn to Him and cry out, “God be merciful to me the sinner”.

I pray daily to that end. But I also recognize that my words are powerless to change you. I cannot change your thinking. In fact I don’t want to change your thinking. The church is full of men who think they have “reasoned” their way into the kingdom of God. Usually they have been duped or have duped themselves. Rather, entrance into the kingdom of God is by being born from above.

Do I want your thinking to change? By all means. But only the Lord can accomplish that. Only He is capable of birthing anyone from above.

I love you Josh, and implore you. Please, seek the Lord while He may be found.

Sigh. Why do I bother.

- Josh

Continue Reading November 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm 43 comments

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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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