Sent in by DC
My testimony of de-conversion is not as dramatic as some that I've read on this site but I decided to post it early on in my membership so no one could accuse me of copying it from someone else’s story. There are, no doubt, similarities to other stories because many of the reasons for doubting are the same for many people.
I was raised in a Christian family. We went to church every Sunday but seldom discussed it outside of church. So I was not beaten into submission or strongly coerced or anything. One of my few arguments as a teenager with my parents was not about me going to church, but about where I would go to church.
In writing this down I tried to distill things into just a few points of why I de-converted. There are literally at least a hundred reasons. Most of them minor ones that may not make much sense to anyone but me. So here are those I boiled it down to:
1. Never, in my 41 years as a "Christian," was there a clear, definite answer from God to a prayer.
2. God has never "moved" in my life in a tangible way.
3. God is in no way real. I cannot touch, taste, smell, hear, or see him, so therefore, if he did exist, there is no way to interact with him.
4. I got to a point that I realized I didn't care about heaven. If I'm not willing to do what is required of me by Christianity in this life it's not worth doing.
5. Bible does contain errors/contradict itself.
6. Real archeology/bible do not match.
7. If it was god's plan for Jesus to come to earth, be betrayed, and be crucified, why would Judas be condemned for carrying out god's plan?
8. I truly, deeply, sincerely believed in god and wanted a deeper relationship with him. The further I went in seeking the less real it all became. I wanted to know what first century Christianity was like and discovered it was not at all of one accord. Discovered that what ended up in the canon of scripture had more to do with politics than religion.
The first 8 reasons listed are all internal to me. In other words, not based upon the actions of others or observations of others. The final two items are based on others.
9. The church that I belong to preaches all about love and forgiveness until you get the least little bit out of line. Then they become totally condemning and hateful.
10. People's lives are not changed. One woman I know who has been a Christian "since I was a little girl" is now on husband #5. In the 5 or 6 years I've known her she's also lived with at least three different men. I commented on this to a friend and was told - well, she just makes poor choices. I'm thinking, poor choices? Sounds more like she's a "professional" to me! Another woman, once again a Christian since she was a little girl, had multiple affairs during her first marriage because her husband had an affair. Three of the four children out of that marriage were not fathered by her husband. She divorced, remarried, divorced again. Since I have met her, she has had two affairs with married men. Yet there she is, front row of the choir every Sunday, lifting up her hands and praising the Lord! Except, of course, if she is out of town with one of her boyfriends.
Whatever damage this has done to me has been more of "by omission" than "by commission." Instead of taking responsibility for my own life and actions I spent too many years expecting god to magically do something to show me where he wanted me to go, what he wanted me to do, to take me out of one situation or another, and to provide guidance in my life,. The only time things have improved is when I took action.
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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)