sent in by Lord Umbra
In 2002 I quit going to church. I had been a professing Xtian since ‘97. I converted late in life at the ripe young age of 37. My religious experience up until that point had been nil. I just suddenly “got religion” and joined the crowd.
I got deeply involved and was serious in my faith. I taught and preached both in church and at the local Rescue Mission. I eventually was made an elder in the fall of ‘01.
However, the same biblical acumen that qualified me to preach and teach, also made me aware that the church wasn’t quite right. Being honest, I could not deny that I disagreed with much of what the bible taught. I wasn’t too crazy with the behavior of the Xtians either. Plus which, in my own life, no matter how much I submitted to “God” and prayed in faith, “sin” never seemed to leave me.
Well, what’s the point of being “saved” if you aren’t delivered from “sin”?
Finally, in December of “01, tired of choking on my own bile due to frustration with the whole situation, I tendered my resignation from my church. The pastor wasn’t too happy with me, but I didn’t care. He was hyper-Charismatic, and I had had enough of putting up with unbiblical practices.
For a few months in ‘02 I took the family to another church, but it was a wash. Nothing was the same. Before I believed. Now…? Nothing.
I quit coming to church. My wife and the kids toyed with another church off and on, but soon they tired of the charade as well.
Not wanting to admit defeat, thinking there was a way to salvage my “faith”, I embarked on a serious self-study of Xtianity and world religions. I wanted to learn it all. I wanted to find out what had gone wrong with my “faith”. I wanted to rekindle the dying embers of the flame that once burned so brightly within me.
For two years I fluctuated between great faith and pissed off. It seemed the more I learned, the less I found to bolster my faith. And I was reading strictly Xtian resources!
At first I thought the church was merely plagued with counterfeit Xtianity. I figured if I could somehow isolate the “X” factor that hindered REAL Xtianity, I could at least begin my own home church.
But the more I studied the more it became apparent that the problem was NOT the adherents of the faith, but the faith itself! Xtianity was bogus. And religion in general sucked the big wand!
So in December of ’04 I declared myself an EX-Christian.
I expected a big fight with the wife and the remainder of my family. But none came.
My mother and siblings knew better than to argue with me. I have a reputation for being stubborn. Once I have a head of steam, there’s no changing my direction.
My wife was more worried that I had become a “godless atheist”. Well, I hadn’t at the time, but NOW I am!
At first I tried to keep some belief in “God”. But then I took a crash course on atheism, agnosticism, deism, secular humanism, et al. I soon decided that I’m better off not wasting my time believing in that which cannot be proven. Especially when said belief tends to make me crazy!
All in all, it hasn’t been too bad. Unlike other people, who had church friends to lose, I had none. My ties to those people had been severed months and years ago. So no guilt trips and no pressure to return “to the fold”.
And that’s my de-conversion story in a nutshell. I’m not totally cured of religious thoughts, but I’m getting better.
Strange thing is, now that I’m an atheist I’m happier and more relaxed with myself and the world around me. As an Xtian I was mean, critical and judgmental.
My wife continues to pretend that she’s an Xtian, even though she doesn’t attend church, read her bible, pray or anything. I don’t say a word. Not everyone is ready to make such life changing commitments. She was playing this game long before she met me, so it’ll be harder for her to admit.
My kids don’t give a rat’s rear one way or the other. They’ve got enough on their plates just getting through school and playing video games. Life is good. If and when the subject of religion ever interests them, I’ll give them my views and encourage them to think for themselves.
Until then, I’m chillin’.
Became a Christian: 37
Ceased being a Christian: 45
Labels before: Non-denominational/Charismatic
Labels now: Atheist
Why I joined: Curiosity
Why I left: Learned it was a sham
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)