My name is Martin, I am a student of philosophy, 25 years old and I live in Denmark. It's been some time now since I deconverted from christianity, back in march 2014, but since discovering this site, I've been thinking a lot about writing my own story, so here you have it!
I wouldn't say I was a hardcore christian. Neither were my parents. They were, and still are, amazing parents and never treated me bad or forced religion down my throat. I was brought up like a normal child and the only part the bible played was as a moral codex. "Treat others with respect", "love and peace" and "always be there for people" and so on.
So how did it come into my life? Well, it's a difficult question, because I've always seen myself as a christian and I've read the stories from a young age, never took them seriously though.But the reason why I began taking the bible more seriously were because of my classmates in school. They were treating me horribly. They didn't care about me or each other, they were just selfish and stupid about a lot of things, like most kids are. Plus they made fun of the bible and were extremely cruel like some atheists can be.
And in my alienation I found some understanding. If they read the bible, I thought, they wouldn't hate it so much, but understand there's good in it. Like me. I felt some connection between me and the book, and from then on I would defend it every time I had the opportunity, like I was standing up for myself.
Life went on, as it usually does, and I would talk about religion with people, read books about it, from both sides, but I stayed christian nonetheless. I wouldn't shove it down peoples throats, but if someone asked me if I was christian, I would be the first to raise my hand with no hesitation, and most of the time, the only one.
I moved up west, to Jutland (if you know where that is), to study philosophy. Here I met a girl, a fun and very energetic girl, and we quickly became friends. In fact, she was so energetic, that every time we went out for a dance, she would knock someone else down, apologizing and feel ashamed; so as you can guess, she was a really great person to be around.
At that time I lived in some cheap huts (at a summer camp) with some strangers. If people had no place to live, but were trying to find a place, you could live there temporarily. People moved in and out and I was still hanging around and I was really afraid that when we would hit november, when the place would shut down, I still wouldn't have found a place to live.
So I told my friend about it and she said "you can stay at my house. You're a great friend and I would only do these kinda things because its you".
So I moved in and we had an amazing time! At christmas we would give each other gifts and I had given her a home made calender for the entire of december, which hang from her ceiling. So every morning she could pick a note and it would say something like "hey, you've got nice legs!" or "listen to this song, its great!". She gave me a notebook and a necklace. Most of the time we would just hang around and have fun, watch tv, play games, talk about philosophy and tell each other stories. I would put her to bed and she usually fell asleep on my chest. We shared everything and she was an amazing friend!
A little about her: she came from a christian family, but she didn't believe in it, although she liked the idea about something 'being up there'. Once she spoke in tongues down in church, she told me, just because others did it. And when she told me, she just laughed it off and said it was silly.
It all went wrong when I fell in love with her. And it was the most stupid of things. See, she wrote me this poem, which said something like "maybe he loves me, but I can't do this", implying that she had feelings for me, but too afraid to say them out loud. So I thought she had a crush on me and she was too scared to tell. The more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea. So I asked her if she liked me. And then tragedy struck. No, she said, but she believed I did. Now, ironic as it is, I wasn't in love with her before the poem, but because of the poem. And now it was too late, I had fallen for her.
Needless to say, I didn't tell her and everything went from heaven to hell (pun intended). Our friendship became a bit more strained (in my head mostly), partly because we were writing a big assignment and with it followed a lot of stress.
But one night, when we were about to fall asleep, she kissed me. And it went on from there. I was happy and a bit sad at the same time, because now I knew she liked me, but I was too afraid to tell her that I liked her. And she was too. I blame it on the fact that we couldn't choose between friends and being a couple.
And then she converted. She had been under a lot of pressure at that point, because of me, but also because a lot of things worked against her, people started blaming her and hating her for things she never did. She had an existential crisis, I would say. She were afraid of the wind. She saw things that weren't there. Believed that we, her friends, had changed and were possessed by something. She couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, couldn't go to the bathroom herself and would stay at my place, too afraid to be alone.
We had a fight, because she said some horrible things to me and I felt really humiliated, so I fought back. I knew it was stupid, but I had underestimated the situation.
So one night she came home to me (I had moved into my own apartment at that time) and said that she had understood everything now. There was something bigger than me and her, out there. She didn't know what it was, but it was in the wind. It scared her. I was still mad, so after we talked for hours about everything, I said that we would see each other tomorrow. But we never did.
She unfriended me on facebook and moved back to her sisters. I wrote to her and she said she had become a christian. and indeed she had. Because when she returned, she had changed. Long gone was the energetic, sweet and fun girl I saw as my friend and whom I loved. What came back from her sister was an egoistic, narrow-minded and outright evil person. She had collected a bag with all my stuff and in front of class she gave them to me, said "thanks", rejected me in front of everybody and humiliated me. She tried to act normal around people, but when she thought nobody noticed her, she would look into the wall, with empty eyes, devoid of any inner fire or passion.
At that time I became the most religious as I ever was. I prayed, I read the bible, I even had an 'experience', feeling a hand touch my heart (physically), which I told her and she was overjoyed! We made up and joined an evangelical church and we would hang around each other like we used to. But things weren't like they used to. I knew she had trouble and therefore I sacrificed everything for her, but she didn't care. She didn't care about me, her friends or everyone else. Now, she only cared about Jesus. Its funny how people say that being christian makes you good, but this was the other way around. So naturally I believed something was wrong. I'd pray "God, you know this is wrong. She's not well. Is this really your work, because I cannot believe that you have done this to her". No answer, of course. I've had tough times, more than most people, but this was different. I began questioning whether or not this was real and all. Seeing my best friend convert made me think differently about my religion and I began accepting things I had ignored.
Not a long time after we made up, we parted. I had found her a job, because she couldn't pay for her rent, and I lent her money, but never asked for them in return (never got them back either). I knew she had it tough and the situation was very fragile. She didn't care about the job and said "thank you" with a dissatisfied frown.
Now and then we would talk about the bible. One time we discussed the story of Jonah, the guy who was eaten by a giant fish and lived in his stomach. So I asked her "do you really believe that this happened?" and she replied "Well, I have to". It was one of those things, bible reading, that did it between us.
I had just spoken with one from class about the bible (I was writing an assignment on christianity and philosophy) and asked if he had some ideas. When me and her went home, she told me "you should be careful when you talk with people about religion. They might give you a bad impression". I replied "Yeah, but joshua 1,8 clearly says that you should meditate on the law and question what is in the bible, so that you may know the law". She said "okay" and left on her bike. The next day she had unfriended me on facebook (again), wrote me a text that she was leaving the city never to come back and stopped going to school. So I asked her some stuff, can't remember exactly what I wrote at her, something like "can't we please be friends, I love you and you're my best friend". She wrote back, for the last time, "you're manipulating, judgmental and a bad friend. I have dedicated my life to Jesus and thank God for that! I cannot be your friend, so goodbye and have a good life".
The last thing I wrote was "I forgive you, I love you and you can always return to me, when you're in trouble". She blocked me, so I cannot visit her facebook page, for that comment.
From then on I was alone. I stopped ignoring the things I had up until that point and began reading. I stopped being a christian, because it didn't make sense anymore, neither the religion, practicing it or the existence of God and everything which follows. For months I was heartbroken, in the purest sense imaginable.
So how is everything going now?
My friend is staying at a christian high school and as far as I have heard she's still a christian, happy with Jesus and all that stuff. But she's cut the contact with all of her friends. I am not the only one affected by this, many of us loved her, so when someone mentions her, everybody lowers their heads, literally. It has truly been a depressing experience for all of us.
Well, I am not a christian and I am quite happy about it. I've seen what religion really is, but as a former christian I have also experienced a lot of hate from atheists. So even though by definition I am an atheist (I'd rather call myself an igtheist, but that's another story), it's too loaded being an atheist nowadays. So I am just an ex-christian. And thats how I like it. And I am 'preaching' for peace and fellowship between theists and atheists, and friendship across different beliefs. To me, what is right and wrong, true or false, is secondary.
At the moment I have trouble with another friend. Yes, believe it or not, I have yet again gotten a crush on a friend, but this time I actually told her and in a couple of days I am going to visit her, to mend things. I want to stay as friends with her and keep her, like I couldn't with my old friend. I don't want to mess things up again, so cheer for me, I'll do my best!
As for my old friend, I have a lot of spite for her, for what she did, but I hope one day that she'll write me back. And if she needs help, I'll be there for her. Remember that necklace she gave me? I wear it everyday. Not because I cannot let go of her. But because I never gave up and I still never do and I never will. Whoever you are out there, having trouble with stuff like this, I hope you will never give up too.
I hope you got some courage, maybe some strength to deal with your own situation, reading this. If you didn't, at least I hope it was a pleasent read, thanks for your time!
If you want to make a comment, if you have a question, about me, my old friend, my new friend, my country, education, anything, just ask and I'll answer if I am able to. Once again, thank you so so much and have a great day! :-)
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