sent in by cj
Hello unmet friends at exchristian.net.
I’ve been a quiet visitor here for over a year now. Many times wanting to comment or post, but wanting to enter appropriately with my testimony first.
It’s interesting isn’t it that we all need to put into words our deconversion testimony. I actually did that before I found this site, for my own piece of mind... to validate that I really had thought it through and to remember that journey. That testimony is on an old computer that will take some time to recover, but with the holiday season upon us I felt the need to post now.
The gist of my story is that I was a conservative United Methodist all my life. Then a newly ordained liberal UM pastor opened my eyes to the humanness of the bible. This is a condensation of what he convinced me of... “The bible is oral stories told and retold, written and rewritten, edited and reedited, voted on and compiled by men with agendas. It was written by premodern, superstitious men with exaggerations and myths. We don’t know who the actual authors were. It didn’t literally happen. No literal devil or angels, creation story, Noah, Jonah, virgin birth, miracles, Jesus didn’t die for our sins, no bodily resurrection, no hell.” It took a while to understand what he was taught in seminary, I was surprised at the evasiveness and dishonesty when I eventually figured it out. After much research I came to the conclusion that he could be right, but he couldn’t then explain to me what his faith was based on. I wonder to this day if he believes his liberal faith or if he’s a good actor that has to pay for his seminary training. He’s one of the few that know of my deconversion. He now avoids me. We were good friends, or so I thought. That still hurts. (If anyone can tell me about liberal seminaries, I would love to hear about them. I can understand the fundies who believe the bible and try to live by it, but I don’t understand not believing the bible and calling yourself a Christian. What’s the point? Are there a lot of drop outs in these seminaries? Is there something I’m not getting? Are they brain washed?)
I would say most all my friends and family consider themselves Christian. It leaves me in a lonely spot. The few that know of my lack of faith, think I’m lost and going to hell. It’s tough to talk with them, to defend myself would mean attacking their faith. I am a smart, strong person and yet this has been very difficult for me and I don’t want to do that to my friends. I feel dishonest with those who don’t know of my change of heart, yet if I tell them it puts them in the category of those above. Basically, it has put a barrier between myself and all my old friends.
If I had support in my immediate family maybe it would be easier to deal with, but I’ve raised my three children as bible believing Christians and my husband has been afraid, close-minded, or something, so that I’ve had to go through this alone. I intend to deprogram my kids (ages 14, 11, 7), and I fear for their happiness and worry about whether my marriage will survive. I’m not looking forward to this Easter Sunday reunion when my extended family will find out that I’ve not been attending church.
For those Christians who visit this website and don’t understand the value in it, let me say that I think I would have gone crazy without the support of those that post here and have been through much of the same as me. To see that I’m not alone in the pain and loneliness I experience is reassuring, and I look forward to the freedom and peace that others say will come with time. I need to find some new thinking friends and am having a hard time knowing how to do that. It seems easy to make friends as a child in school and church, but how does one do that as an adult without those communities, especially in a country that claims such a high percentage of religious folks. We really do need to organize get-togethers. I’m very lonely.
Joined: Born into it.
Left: 40... yes, I feel stupid. What a waste.
Was: Conservative United Methodist
Converted because: I really believed it. Looking at other religions, it seemed the most probable.
De-converted because: Was convinced of its human origin. Fraud in the churches.
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)