I had expected that christians would not be happy when I denounced my faith. What I hadn’t expected was the fact that they would need to find a way to excuse my leave. Not only excuse it but actually claim to KNOW my reason(s) for abandoning what seems to them as the only true reality in life.
Excuse #1: You are clearly angry with God.
Response: If god is the god defined by the Bible then, yes, I guess I’m pretty mad at him. I think he is selfish, unreasonable, conflicted, jealous, hateful, and not really worthy of anyone’s honor. But in reality I don’t think the christian god exists therefore it’s pretty hard to be angry with a deity that is imaginary to me.
Excuse #2: You did not grow up with good examples of Christianity and therefore don’t know Jesus’ real love.
Response: Christians in my life were certainly flawed but I don’t blame my parents, relatives, teachers, ministers, friends for causing my leave of the faith. It’s a pretty sad state of christianity if I am only surrounded by christians and they all failed me. I have been very loved by many christians and hurt by many as well but those are not my reasons for leaving. Seeing christians’ response to my atheism has been enough to keep me from returning but certainly not my excuse for leaving.
Excuse #3: You are trying to excuse a sin in your life.
Response: Ummmmm, NO! There is no horrible, sinful atrocity that I am hoping to commit now that I’ve denied christ. Far from it. In fact I think I might sin less now. I certainly judge less, gossip less and love more.
Excuse #4: You are just angry with Christianity but deep down you know it’s the only Truth and that’s why you have to fight so hard.
Response: I am angry with christianity and the christians who subscribe to it’s beliefs. But I don’t believe it to be truth. And I find it extremely arrogant to claim one has the only Truth for all mankind. I fight so hard because I can see the damage it can have.
Excuse #5: You clearly never were a Christian.
Response: Wow, what a waste of 30 years! Wish I would’ve known that before I prayed every night, went to church every sunday, tithed tens of thousands, converted others and taught it to my kids. What a fool I must be to have even tricked myself for that long.
Excuse #6: It’s sad that God did not choose you to enter His Kingdom.
Response: Yes, that’s very sad. That would give me another reason to be angry with a god who gives us free will yet he chose to not allow me in heaven. Hmmmmmm?
Excuse #7: If you just pray for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes you will again see the Truth. You just need more prayer.
Response: You clearly don’t know me and never did. If you think I left 30 years of christianity without near begging to the holy spirit then no wonder you think I’m so flippant.
Excuse #8: See, that’s where you’re confused. Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.
Response: No, it’s a religion contrived as a relationship. One that I’m not interested in.
Excuse #9: The devil has a hold on you for now but I’m certain God has big plans for you.
Response: That kind of feels like a backhanded compliment. God has a lot of work to do to bring me back in to his army…but again I’m confused about free will when there’s all this bad spirit vs good spirit warfare going on without my permission.
Excuse #10: You just need a little bit of faith.
Response: I don’t value faith in matters of eternity. I need more evidence.
I see my transition from christianity to unbelief as one of irreconcilable differences between me and the biblical god. The evidence against christianity became too much for me to reconcile. Trust me, I’d love to believe in the Bible, Jesus, and Heaven. It’d be a heck of a lot easier than the road I’m on but I cannot force belief upon myself. It’s disingenuous.
Last week I heard a talk given by Taslima Nasrin (woman who left Islam for atheism) and I loved this line she gave, “The best way to become an atheist is to read the Holy Book.”
This is true with the Bible too. Read it. Cover to cover. Study it’s history with skepticism and see where it takes you.
For me it became a book of atrocities. Of a god I never knew and didn’t care to know. Of a savior that doesn’t make sense. A book of inconsistencies and flaws. A great historical novel but nothing more.
I can’t reconcile the stories, the characters, and the laws with a one, true path to heaven. I can’t reconcile the fact that there are many myths predating the Bible that sure make the Bible appear plagiarized rather than the Word of God. To name just a few: The Epic of Gilgamesh (the flood), King Sargon (Moses), Babylonian creation myth (men are made from clay of the earth), the Egyptian Book of the Dead (ten commandments), other gods who had many many similarities to Jesus.
This is just a very tiny glimpse of why christianity and I needed to divorce. So please stop making excuses for me. Every time you want to make an excuse for someone leaving the faith I would suggest leaving room for the possibility that they actually came to a rational conclusion…irreconcilable differences.