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Former Christians...

It's taken me a while to work up to asking this question, because I feel that once I've said it (even in text form) it will be "real". If I'm being honest, this has been building up for a few years now, but I'm just now ready to admit to myself that I am no longer a Christian. It started with my inability to reconcile with my religion's stance on homosexuality, and has just snowballed from there. If I had to label myself right now, I'd call myself agnostic, but again, if I'm being honest, I think the only thing that keeps me from saying atheist is my inability to let go of a belief I've held my entire life. (OMG, I just said all that to someone other than myself.)

Anyhoo, my question(s) to former Christians is:

What led you to start questioning your beliefs?
Was it immediate or, like me, was it a long process?
Was making the transition scary for you? (It is for me, primarily because my *entire* family is Christian)

I'm not normally anonymous, but this is something I've only recently come to terms with myself, and I'm not exactly ready to be loud and proud. Hopefully that makes sense.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:46 AM on Mar. 25, 2013 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (36)
  • My dad hated being dragged to church every Sunday, so he never made me go. I went to a private school for Kindergarten, and as a graduation gift all 12 kids in my class (including me) got personalized bibles as graduation gifts. I read parts of it throughout my life. My biggest problem with the bible and God is that in the old testament you are supposed to fear him and he's so petty and vindictive. But, in the new testament this same god is benevolent, kind, gracious and loving. That just does not compute in my mind.

    Because my faith was never that strong to begin with, I knew from a young age (10) that Christianity was not for me. Also, because I was so young, there really wasn't a transition for me. Most of my family refuses to talk to me because I'm not like them, but I've always been a black sheep in my family anyway.

    And, I'm an eclectic Pagan. I take bits and pieces from many different Pagan paths and make my own path.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 12:54 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I was highly involved with my church for a long time. I was an active part of the youth group, and choir. I wanted to have the faith.I wanted to believe. I tried really hard, but I always felt like I was faking it. I never really believed. The bible didn't make sense to me. Too many contradictions. The biggest thing I couldn't reconcile was that if God was all powerful, and all loving,  how could "he" allow people to suffer, especially children? How could he allow child abuse? And finally, I had to be honest with myself, I just didn't feel that Jesus was the son of God, ( I think he was a wise man, much like Buddha, and Mohamed, etc..) so how could I call myself a Christian?If anything I probably lean toward Buddhism more than anything, but, at this time in my life, I'm not sure there is even a god. For me giving up the charade was a relief, but no one in my family is very devout so there was no fall out.

    Answer by musicmaker at 1:11 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I think what matters is that you are making a transition that feels right for you and the way you live/want to live your life. I'm spiritual and believe in a God/Gods but don't follow any religion despite my Catholic mom. I started searching for what resonated with me probably after college and one thing fell into place after another to cement for me what I believe. I found it exciting, liberating and not a fearful process. Good luck to you with this journey. All I can say is if it's what feels right then it is right.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 1:38 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • What led you to start questioning your beliefs?
    My mom's church and the loss of someone close to me.  Plus I was molested as a child and as a teen I didn't thin God loved me if he allowed that to happen to me.
    Was making the transition scary for you? (It is for me, primarily because my *entire* family is Christian)
    No because I was angry.  But I recently started going to church again and I actually made amends with God.  I feel like I just had a dysfunctional relationship with God and I'm finally ready to mend it. Plus I love my pastor.  He's awesome, he's a realist, he uses the word "screwed" every no and then and quite honestly I can't trust someone that doesn't curse...even if it's a pastor.  So I trust in what he's teaching.  I don't like his wife though. :/


    Answer by uwmilf at 1:53 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • For you OP.


    Answer by uwmilf at 2:01 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • You totally posted from my inner most thoughts. I do think that all paths lead to the same. I am comfortable with christian tradition even though I do not follow a christian church. I am familiar with Christ and Jesus and so that is the tradition I follow. I think it would be weird for me to totally switch beliefs because I think that religion is so personal and that people are usually introduced as children and I find it completely weird when an adult chooses to believe something so completely different than what they were taught. I believe that the bible is a story of how to strive for a better life and to be a better person. I also believe that it is written by man and is fallible. I think that God is a loving God and knows what is in my heart and is leading me to be a better person by leading me to follow my bliss and figure out what is right for me to believe.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:44 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Please don't take this as a conversion attempt or an attack; I sincerely wish you well. I'm still a Christian, but I too underwent a deep questioning of my faith, and left the church for a long time. I was abused throughout my childhood in some disgusting ways, and I would sit in church week after week, praying that God really couldn't see and know everything because I felt too filthy and ashamed to be in a house of worship. Given what all went on behind closed doors, I felt I was defiling the church by just being there. In time I concluded that God had wept over what happened to me, but it was my mom's free choice, and I reconciled my beliefs. My point is, the questioning and finding out what was really true for me resulted in a deeper, more honest faith than I would have had by simply buying what I'd always been told, or going through the motions because I was expected to. So I hope you find the path that inspires you.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:47 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • But as a former church going Christian it is hard to let go of the faith because of the indoctrination that I had as a child. The whole you are going to hell if you don't believe in Christ is a hard one to break free from. When I first started leaving the church I had enormous guilt. {{former catholic]] Then I felt some rebellion that I felt guilty for following what I believe. Then for a while I said I wasn't Christian.

    Now I have reconciled that the Catholic church is not for me. I also do not like being called a Christian. I know too many bible thumping asshole Christians I guess. In my heart of hearts I dont know where my path lies. But I am so familiar with Christianity that when I need guidance I pray to God and Jesus.

    I guess I don't really know what I am saying. Good luck and try to follow your bliss.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:52 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I think that I always questioned it. Honestly, the only time I think I truly considered myself to be a Christian was from the ages of 6 to 10. during that time, I was exposed to 3 different forms of Christianity. By the time I was a senior in High School, I already denied the existence of God. Though, that's not something I openly went around telling people, until college, when I met other like-minded people.

    The worst part of my "journey" was having friends who believed as I did when they were younger (HS & college) but, then turned back to the church. People who were free spirits, not homophobic at all, not extremely judgemental, who are now christian conservatives. So, they not only betrayed "themselves" but others, as well. All so they can fit the mold of what they feel a responisble adult/parent should be. It saddens me. But, oh well, all I can do is discover my own path. Continued...

    Answer by 3libras at 8:21 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I consider myself a somewhat Spiritual Agnostic. I have some Buddhist leanings and think that reincarnation may exist, as well as some form of life energy. I have no concrete or set beliefs. Some days I think maybe what I just wrote is pure BS & I feel more atheist. Other days, I imagine the possibilities.


    Answer by 3libras at 8:24 AM on Mar. 25, 2013

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