Skip to main content

Escaping the Word of Faith

By Jonny Scaramanga ~ 

I used to be a Christian fundamentalist. Through college, this was my dirty secret. I only told my closest friends. Coming from Britain, where it's a smaller phenomenon, most of them had no idea people like me existed.

Now I've come to own it. I used to be a fundamentalist, and I escaped. It's such a relief to declare it, and realise that I'm breathing fresh air for the first time in my life. Before, I had to make up excuses for why I'd never heard classic rock songs (because I was in church when they were on the radio), or never drunk alcohol. The relief of making it public is huge. Everyone is so supportive; they can't believe I made it out.

If you're keeping it a dirty secret, don't. It wasn't even your fault. You were misled, by your parents and your pastors.

I was part of the Word of Faith, the Prosperity gospel, blab-it-and-grab-it religion of preachers like Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Creflo Dollar, and Jesse Duplantis. They teach the doctrine of positive confession: You can have what you say, according to Mark 11:23.

Just as God spoke the world into existence, you can speak your desires into existence by faith.

I look at it now and I wonder how anyone fell for it. But they had Scripture verses. And that was enough. The Bible is the final authority, after all.

Once you accept that doctrine, it's viciously difficult to get out. As any ex-fundamentalist can tell you, bad thoughts are placed in your head by the devil. That's an incredibly powerful piece of mind control. If you accept that doubt comes from the devil, then it can't possibly be legitimate. And the only way out is to fill your mind with the Word of God, until the doubts are pushed out. And if you do doubt, you feel guilty for letting in the devil.

Not only that, but faith preachers said that negative things you say will come to pass, just as surely as positive things. So if you're having doubts, you can't speak them, because that would make them happen. You could have an entire church full of people thinking, "I don't think I'm ever going to get the hundredfold return," but no one will admit it! The act of admitting it would cut them off from God's blessings.

That's religion as a mechanism for control, and if you know someone in the Word of Faith, it won't be easy to make them see it. My Dad never did see it; he died believing it, having given away literally tens of thousands of pounds, believing he was sowing seed.

Luckily, I got a good education. Not at first – to begin with I was educated in Accelerated Christian Education, which is packed with misinformation, propaganda, and racism. Thankfully, after I had a breakdown at school, my mum removed me. It took four years of good education after that for me to begin to think critically.

My social skills were crippled. But eventually I learned to hang out. Every time I held a normal conversation, inside, I was jumping up and down, thinking "I'm doing it! I'm socialising!"

The doubts, the feeling I was going to hell – they all went away in the end. If you're in the process of deconverting, don't lose heart. It does get better.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

I can fix ignorance; I can't fix stupid!

By Bob O ~ I 'm an atheist and a 52-year veteran of public education. I need not tell anyone the problems associated with having to "duck" the "Which church do you belong to?" with my students and their parents. Once told by a parent that they would rather have a queer for their sons' teacher than an atheist! Spent HOURS going to the restroom right when prayers were performed: before assemblies, sports banquets, "Christmas Programs", awards assemblies, etc... Told everyone that I had a bladder problem. And "yes" it was a copout to many of you, but the old adage (yes, it's religious) accept what you can't change, change that which you can and accept the strength to know the difference! No need arguing that which you will never change. Enough of that. What I'd like to impart is my simple family chemistry. My wife is a Baptist - raised in a Baptist Orphanage (whole stories there) and is a believer. She did not know my religi