sent in by John Murray
My time in christianity was relatively short and my conversion and deconversion alike were nothing out of the ordinary so I won't bore you with the details.
Although I think that a lot in Christianity sucks big time, I must admit that even after all these years of deconversion I still get that nagging feeling:- what if I find out when I die that I'm wrong? I just haven't been able to make the confident break that many writers on this site have done.
I am often criticised for sitting on the fence, but there again it is easy to go from the extreme of being a closed minded fundamentalist to an equally closed minded non-believer. Both to my mind are equally guilty of having made up their minds and now look for evidence that backs up their beliefs while dismissing any that contradicts it.
Despite having read stuff by once highly dedicated former believers such as Dan Barker, Farrell Till, Charles Templeton etc, there is some of the evidence does seem to be in favour of the Christian arguments. For instance St Paul wrote several of his epistles within 20 years of Christ's supposed resurrection; he even writes of his change from christian persecutor to Christian in one of them.
My Christian friend, Phil, has a story that I find difficult to explain away easily. (For all his faults, Phil is an honest man). When Phil was studying at university he, in common with many students, was short of money. One month Phil was sure that God wanted him to attend a Christian conference (OK so far you're thinking typical fundie delusions). However he didn't have the money. He didn't tell anybody about the situation but prayed about the matter for several weeks and got no answer. Yet Phil was still sure that God wanted him to attend this conference and continued praying. Two days before the deadline for registration, he found an unmarked envelope underneath the door of his room at the university halls of residence with exactly the right amount of cash. He told everybody he knew about the incident (Christian and non-Christian alike) but nobody claimed responsibility for the action. This story seems just too much of a co-incidence to be able to explain away easily. The thought of a sranger putting cash through somebody's door is quite incredible, even more so in a university setting.
This story has been bugging me for some time, but if anybody has a simple explanation, I would be glad to hear it.
I do not want to hear from:-
a) Non-believers who wish to hurl mindless abuse at information that possibly contradicts their beliefs
b) Believers who want to sell Christianity- I've heard all your arguments to death.
I know that this story goes against the grain somewhat on your ex-Christian site, but I'm sure you wish to hear all sides of the story. You never know,you might move a persistent but uncomfortable fence sitter to being a more comfortable unbeliever.
Thanks for a great site.
How old were you when you became a christian? 16
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 18
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Evangelical / Navigators
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Uncomfortable yet dogged fence sitter
Why did you become a christian? Fire Insurance Against Hell
Why did you de-convert? Serious doubts about factuality of Christianity
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)