Hey guys, I’m Steve, and this is my first time ever publishing on exchristian.net. I’ve commented several times, but I thought it would be a nice idea to share my thoughts on Christianity with you all. I grew up in a relatively different background from many people I’ve noticed on the site. I had loving Christian parents, a moderate church I attended, and overall, I’ve been very fortunate. And I still have my loving parents, my church, I could care less about.
Anyhow, I’m now an agnostic atheist, and I’m not shy about it. Two months after my deconversion, I told my dad that I did not believe in God or Jesus anymore. He took it well, but he’s argumentative and he has a lot of ideas that are irrational. My mom took it well also, although she cried for a couple days after she learned I did not believe. I haven’t told my grandparents; it’s hard when both sides come from strong Christian backgrounds and two have had considerable training in theology. I know I’d be in for a lot of hurt if I did. I’m always told to be a “good, Christian man”, but why can’t I just be a good man, period? Why should it matter what my religious beliefs are? I dread the day I bring home any future girlfriend I have, which I will definitely make sure are not Christian. This basically covers Christianity and immediate family dynamics.
How did I deconvert? It was almost as simple as watching 3 hours of “Why I Am No Longer a Christian” by Evid3nc3 on Youtube, but there’s more. When I was young, I didn’t care about Christianity much - although I was dragged to church every Sunday (if watching violent TV makes people less sensitive to violence, going to church should make people less sensitive to, well, church). I didn’t care about my faith – I was apathetic. But after a wonderful string of luck happened to me, well, who else should a Christian give credit to but The Almighty? And that credit led to a world much different from the one I had been accustomed to. I think though, that my headlong fall into a more conservative religious ideology, was precipitated by a question that my devout Christian grandfather couldn’t answer: If God is so perfect, why does he need to be worshipped? Why should we worship him? Faced with that dissatisfying prospect, I looked to the internet to allay my questions, using sites as valuable as christiananswers.net to answer the big questions that I was thinking of. Is x a sin? Is y a sin? These questions were answered by the internet evangelicals, and my faith, for that point in time, received its capstone, and became locked into place. I stopped going on the websites shortly after, because my parents had noticed they’d been giving me problems, and according to them, faith was “simple” and shouldn’t be “over thought”. But the damage was done and several more upsetting and infuriating incidents, I was on my way out of the church doors.
One such incident was the theology of my newly installed fundie youth pastor. A classic hedonist in college, she later converted to Christianity and married a minister, who was and still is the leader of my former church. Her intense comparisons of Daniel to Revelation were absolutely insane! As an atheist, I recognize Revelation for what it is: a pile of deluded horseshit! Another such example was, after going to a friend’s nondenominational church and listening to an associate pastor badly mangle evolutionary theory (“we believe in microevolution, but not macroevolution”…bullshit!), I had my friend drop me off at my home church just so my youth pastor could “Kirk-Cameronize” the theory of evolution once again. Thank goodness for college biology and the internet! Listening to my pastor’s ham-fisted sermon about how we can’t have morals without God, for which he failed to include any evidence and his butchering of statistics, further jaded my view of Christianity. The final straw was reading the book of James: it cemented the belief in me that the bible DID have contradictions and no amount of apologia could reasonably rationalize them! By this point I was fed up with what I saw as the strict authoritarianism of the church: the Bible’s classic verse against cursing, Ephesians 5:4, sent me into not one, but two extremely powerful depressions – I felt I was powerless to stand up against the “Word of God” when it condemned something that people shouldn’t give a flying fuck about!
Two depression-filled months after reading James, I watched the video series I referenced in the first paragraph…and felt freer than I had ever been in years! I didn’t have to deny myself and take up the cross of Jesus – I was free to be whoever I wanted to be! The sad part was that I wasted two months of my freshman year in college agonizing over topics I knew somewhere in my head were irrational! In fact, I see now that I had always harbored skepticism towards Christianity. In my rational mind, I knew there was no way to logically defend this faith from all its defects. Of course, I brush up on knowledge of early Christianity, Christian theology, and of course, the Bible, so I can have an overwhelming case against Christianity, instead of a meager one. I’ve read Hitchens, John Loftus, Bart Ehrman, Robert Ingersoll, Sam Harris, and Paul Tobin (Tobin comes highly recommended!).
With that said, I must address a final thing: I feel it is necessary to assume that today’s Christians know more than we think they do about their scripture. In this age, it seems only right. With the zeal for Jesus I see on my campus, I feel I must have an equal zeal for learning as much as I can about how to reasonably combat that zeal. It also gives me an intellectual edge, I feel I was somewhat suckered into Christianity by a “reasonable” argument (argument from design) that I never thought over and therefore never expelled from my mind. Therefore, by seeking out as much information as I can about Christianity, I will never fall victim to such an argument again.
I hope you felt this post was worth your time. Thank you for reading!
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