A quick post that I have been meaning to write. I am asking if atheists and skeptics out there who were once Christians would like to tell their stories of how they lost their faith. What happened, and how did it happen? I would love to give to give you a platform from time to time to explain yourself and guide the discussion. This post will be posted on differing parts of the internet. I hope to feature a regular de-conversion story for the Christian church to listen on this blog.
“Unhappy, let alone angry, religious people provide more persuasive arguments for atheism and secularism then do all arguments of atheists.”
“Do I think I’m going to paradise? Of course not; I wouldn’t go if I was asked. I don’t want to live in some fucking celestial North Korea, for one thing, where all I get to do is praise the Dear Leader from dawn till dusk. I don’t want this; it would be hell for me.”
“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.”
This blog is going to focus on a hodgepodge of issues from atheism, doubt, faith to fundamentalist theology all in the course of time. The reason why is because I believe them to be linked in many ways. But there is one thing I would like to tell here at The Wondering Eagle. On a fairly regular basis I would like to feature stories of former Christians who became atheist. Its my belief that the evangelical Christian church needs to listen and hear these stories. Its my contention that the world should hear these stories. These stories are necessary and needed. Stories are how humanity and culture has revealed itself and explained itself over the course of time. Stories help us explain who we are and how we got here. In this blog I am trying to create a middle ground, or community of many differing peoples who can get together and discuss their faith situation or no faith. I think we can all learn from each other, and I believe the words and the points of view from the atheist or secular community are especially important.
The Evangelical Christian church can be arrogant and often misses the boat. Its time the church stop and listen to those who left the faith and hear the reasons why. Any healthy organization requests feedback. How many of you have left a job and on your way out of the company went through an exit interview? How many were asked to fill out a survey explaining and giving their feedback. In my faith crisis I spent a lot of time searching and surfing atheist websites and I read a number of stories. Some of the stories I have read at other websites convey the following:
- People who were raised on hard core Young Earth Creationist teaching. Then they grew and were exposed to science in high school or college and they realized they were lied to in their life. It led some to say…”If I was lied to about this…what else was I lied about in regards to the Christian faith?”
- Individuals who did all the right things….all the church activities, Bible studies, fellowship, etc… and despite doing all that life threw them some wrenches. The faith they were taught did not work. The faith they were told to follow backfired. They did all that they were supposed to do and they were baffled and realized that it was not true.
- Individuals who were taught a certain way about God. In the course of time people became disenchanted or noticed as to how one sided the relationship was. In the course of time all the prayer or all the pleading fell on deaf ears and they realized that God is a myth. That he didn’t exist.
- People from the homeschooling community who were burned out and fried from fundamentalism.
- Individuals who came from abusive background or saw how the Christian church dealt with domestic abuse or violence. You saw how a loved one was being hit, hurt and how the church covered it up. There is a lot of problems with domestic violence in Christianity today.
- Another factor I expect to see is child sexual abuse, and how people dealt with that and were horrified as to how the Christian church ignored, handled or went after the wrong person while protecting the perpetrator.
- There was a faith crisis that rocked you to your bone. It crushed you and you left your faith crisis by believing that God didn’t exist.
- There were particular doubts, issues that crept up you couldn’t deal with, and they vary..they could be everything from Creationist teachings, to the problem of evil, to asking what happened to those who never heard the Gospel, to a hole host of doubts. They are plentiful and they are all valid.
- You grew up with the Christian faith but it didn’t make sense and you thought it foolish, and so you left it behind as you moved forward.
- You dealt with fundamentalism in a Sovereign Grace, Acts 29, IFB, Evangelical Free, SBC, Assemblies of God church or elsewhere and you had enough.
- A brother or sister came out as gay and you saw how the church treated them and were angry over the discrimination and hate. You were angry over what they had to endure, their efforts to change, or suicidal feelings they dealt with.
- Other reasons that are not listed here…in honesty there are many and for each and every person it is unique.
I would be honored, privileged, and happy to turn over the page to you from time to time and let you tell your story. Just to let you know there are no expectations, and no efforts to evangelize from me. I’m not going to expect you to come back to the Christian faith nor am I going to try. I am not sensitive about language or other issues. I would like to just turn over the page and let you lead the discussion. If people get snippy then I will intervene to deal with them. But that’s the goal, out in the open, I just want o do this as transparently as possible. I plan on posting this webpage on atheist forums and websites. I also plan to Tweet the heck out of it. If you decided to do this I want you to know there is no pressure for you to do this. Actually I want you to be in control and to give you a platform. Tell your story to the world, let it be known. This is a post I wanted to do and its one I have been meaning to do for a while. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
There is one other point I would like to make. If you read this and you are traveling to Washington, D.C. for the Reason Rally in June of 2016 I would love to meet with you in the area. I will also say this I am planning on attending and would love to attend with you and observe. I am cool with it and think it could be fascinating to listen. I did attend the last one in March of 2012 and I remember that very well. I actually wrote about it here at this post for The Wartburg Watch. In closing I am going to leave you with some Green Day. Thanks for considering this request if you are atheist, agnostic, secular or humanistic. As always I love you guys!