Sent in by Anton
The last year has seen me slowly de-convert from Christianity until, like others, I one day realized I just don't believe it all any more.
I grew up in a loving Christian home, both my parents were active in church. It was to be expected that at the age of 12 I had a "jelly-in-my-legs" experience at a sermon one morning, went forward and gave my heart to Jesus.
What followed was a life that has been both happy and sad at the same time.Happy because I wasn't raised fundamentalist enough to be ostracized from the world completely, but sad because I was just Christian enough to never quite feel at home in the world.
It's hard to explain, but if you met me today you would think me a confident individual, and in some ways I am. I just feel, however, that Christianity kept me from developing a kinship with my fellow man. By being Christian by definition I was different, and any common ground was ruined because "they" weren't Christian and I was. I think it's all impacted on my identity, and I now feel a bit lost.
So although I wasn't a fire and brimstone type, I nevertheless have spent almost my entire life (31 years) serving in the church and hanging out with Christians.
The turning point came when my wife and I joined a charismatic church and I started investigating "speaking in tongues". When I realised what a load of powerful self-deception THAT was, everything started to fall to pieces bit by bit.
If Christians could be faking tongues, what else could they be faking, consciously or not?
I am songwriter and songs about life. Heartache and disillusionment with church have always been a prolific source of ideas for songs, but I always really struggled to write worship songs. It's as if from somewhere deep inside I just had nothing to say about God!
Similar to being in a relationship and then realising how platonic it actually is.
Anyway, no one knows apart from my wife. (I think she will follow where the facts go and she loves and trusts me unconditionally.)
I don't know if I will ever tell my parents. I know WHY people choose to believe, they need it like some need food and water. In this case I can't give them the heartache and pain of thinking I am going to hell. I'd rather they not know!
Besides I am still on this journey.I consider myself agnostic but not quite atheist.
Things like our human morals and being able to create and appreciate art are still issues for me, as well as a feeling deep down that maybe there is more at play than our living and dying. (A last remnant of my upbringing perhaps?)
I would love comments and pointers to info on some of the things mentioned above.
Thanks for letting me get this of my chest!
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)