Why I Quit Believing (Revised)

14 Jul

Thoughtful post explaining to a friend why they left the faith. There is much here that matches my own experience…enjoy!!!

godless in dixie

The other day a close family member asked me to explain to her why I left the Christian faith.  Three years ago I did what I could to boil down my main reasons for doing so for a handful of friends, all of whom were pretty theologically-minded and had a ton of question and challenges afterwards.  That prompted a second, longer letter that enumerated some of the things which nudged me in this direction.  Those letters are there for anyone to read, but this time around I decided I’d rather just give it another try and start over.  It takes time to develop a comfortable vocabulary for explaining something as hard to nail down as this, and the passage of time makes some things a lot clearer.  Below you’ll find my updated attempt to answer this question.

I have to first say again that I don’t usually spend much time doing…

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2 Responses to “Why I Quit Believing (Revised)”

  1. Quince September 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    After telling a childhood friend, who is a YoungLife area director, I was looking to grow spiritually he invited me to one of their Bible studies. Within a few months I was politely told I was not longer welcome. I suppose my comments and questions were not in line with their philosophy of blind obedience.

    However, I did have a revelation of sorts about my faith as a result of my brief interaction with this group. I am a Catholic (of sorts) and consider myself Christian. I found it odd that the YoungLife evangelicals were always instant that Jesus lived a perfect life. This was constantly proclaimed. I commented once that I thought he was born man and if he was man how could he be perfect? If indeed he was a deity on earth then how was the crucifixion really a sacrifice? Why did he ask God to let this cup (his impending torture and death) pass by him. Is it suffering if you are certain of the afterlife?

    Most of these questions merely garnered a condescending grimace of bemusement. However when I made mention that Jesus made good use of the power of guilt, I think I signed my severance papers. One YoungLife leader looked at me and scowled “how can you say Jesus made people feel guilty?” He was really upset. I then pointed out that I he kicked tables over at the temple to make the merchants flee and that he scolded the disciples for falling asleep while he went to pray. Are these not the actions of someone trying to use guilt? What the hell is wrong with guilt anyway?

    It then occurred to me that maybe we were worshiping different Gods.

    I need to believe that before the resurrection Jesus was human, and that he had the same trials we all have. That his suffering was real. That only his faith carried him through when he was tested.Yes I believe he rose from the dead and then became the Christ but not before he lived life as a human. A real honest to goodness human. This I can relate to. A superman who made no mistakes is not something that makes any sense to me.

    They obviously need to believe no human can ever be as good as Jesus. As if moral failure is an inevitability. You can be forgiven in a snap of a finger so why try to change? They seem to relish their role as helpless children, all the while chanting an ironic mnemonic “what would Jesus do?” apparently designed to reinforce failure not change.

    How else can you explain someone who asks “what would Jesus do?” then proceed to spew hatred toward anyone different then they are? When did Jesus enrich himself with material possessions through his ministry? When did he move to rich neighborhoods to manipulate “cool” kids? Was Mary Magdalene cool? Was Peter who as proven a coward by the rooster crowing 3 times cool? If he wanted cool people he would have surrounded himself with Pharaohs and Romans.

    He wants us, the losers and dorks to follow him.

    Thank you for letting me rant. I feel better.

    • christianagnostic September 26, 2014 at 12:10 am #

      Thanks for the rant…you’re more than welcome to do so.

      While I don’t share your faith, I appreciate your thoughtful approach towards others.

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