What's the best way to leave fundamentalism?

sent in by Mike

I'd be grateful if anyone could tell me the best ways of coping with leaving fundamentalism.

I've been a Christian for 23 years, mainly in the charismatic movement. But after several years of increased doubting about the inerrancy of the bible, I've reached the stage where I can't go on any further.

I've debated long and hard with my friends at church, trying to get them so see the contradictions, atrocities and mistakes in the bible, but all I get is a glassy-eyed stare and a mantra of "you need more faith. Try reading the bible more."

From reading previous posts, I realise that leaving a fundamentalist church isn't the easiest thing in the world to do. Even though all my friends know the validity of my faith thus far, I'm still expecting barbs such as "you must never have been a true Christian if you now doubt." Things like that will hurt, but I don't want to be a whipping post for other people's insecurities. Even now, during our debates, people have started to admit that the strength of my research and logic is proving taxing to their faith.

Like many who've posted on this site, I've considered attending a UU congregation, as I'm not yet convinced whether I'm an agnostic, an atheist or a very liberal Christian. All I know is that I can't pretend any longer that I'm a fundamentalist.

How have you all coped with leaving fundamentalism? Is it at all possible to keep fundy friends as friends? Do you find that you get ostracised? Please help me out with your experience.

Oh, and thanks for the site. It's really kept me sane and helped me realise that I'm not the only one who sees that the emperor hasn't any clothes.

Joined: 17
Left: 40
Was: Charismatic, fundamentalist
Now: Agnostic? V. Liberal?
Converted because: Thought the bible was the truth
De-converted because: Realisde it wasn't

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