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I’ve been lying to you. I’m not a Christian.

By Jonny ~

We need to talk.

I’ve been lying to you.

I’m not a Christian.

For the first 20 or so years of my life I was a perfect little Christian boy. I prayed, I read my Bible, I think I really believed it. But in college, when I started to confront life’s big questions, I didn’t find answers that resonated.

My questions mostly revolved around trying to reconcile God’s sovereignty with how I experience the world. I saw bad things happen in the world and I asked, where was God? I prayed for answers and for clarity of belief and I got nothing in return.

Where was God?

The Christian answers I kept hearing are “God is greater than our unbelief” “God has a plan, we just need to trust in him” “If we could comprehend God, would he be worth worshiping?”

To me, these answers just didn’t satisfy. They all presuppose that God exists and cares about us.

The thing about God is that you can’t prove his existence. You can provide evidence, but there is no ultimate proof. For a while, the evidence was enough for me. I told myself “You have to have faith to believe in anything, even atheists have faith. You can’t prove God’s non-existence either.” The more I struggled with it, the more I prayed and the more I read the Bible.

I was looking to God for answers, I wanted to believe that he was there.

My entire world revolves around Christianity. I went to christian High School and Christian college. All my friends are Christians, my entire extended family is full of Christians. I desperately wanted to fit in to their club. It would be easier for me if I could believe what they believed. I wouldn’t have to confront them and become that guy. You know the one. The sad story of the good christian boy who got swayed from his faith by the evil, corrupt world. The one everyone walks on eggshells around and prays for.

I wanted to buy it, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t shake my doubts. If God existed, and if he cared about me, then he would be capable of shaking my doubts.

Wouldn’t he be the only one capable of doing such a thing?

But he didn’t. He didn’t answer my prayers, he didn’t cure my doubts. He hung me out to dry. So finally, I started to realize that maybe he wasn’t just hearing my prayers and not answering, maybe he wasn’t “hanging me out to dry” as I had thought. Maybe it was simpler than that. Maybe the God I had been brought up my whole life to believe in wasn’t there at all.

The moment I came to terms with this was a scary moment indeed. I knew that if I told anyone about this realization that would be the end of my life as I knew it. So I lied. I did the Christian thing. I continued to go to church, to go to Bible study, and to read my Bible on occasion. Even though I didn’t believe that it was real, I still wanted to be in the club. I didn’t want to change my entire relationship with my friends and with my family. I wanted to be a Christian.

But after a couple years of this, I just couldn’t keep up the lie anymore. I couldn’t continue to act like I was a Christian and hope that I could “fake it till I make it.” The lie was eating me alive.

My friends and family came to me with their doubts and I gave them the Christian answers. I told them to pray about it, to read the Bible. I couldn’t possibly tell them that I had the same doubts.

Deep down I think i wanted to save them from the pain that I was feeling. It would be better if they didn’t have these questions. I couldn’t convince myself to believe it, but maybe they could. Maybe they could save themselves from my fate. But I could only keep up the lie for so long. I couldn’t keep following the rule book when I didn’t believe in the rules.

I was miserable.

So, I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t a Christian anymore. I stopped trying to find happiness in Christianity. I realized that nothing was going to bring me back and I had to let it go.

So, last night I called my mom in the middle of the night and I blindsided her. It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to do. It was like having to watch your parents attend your funeral. They think I’m going to hell. There is no worse news I could have told them.

Today, I am going to tell the first of my friends. I am going to watch my world crumble, and I’m going to be the one operating the wrecking ball.

Do I think my friends and family will abandon me? Of course not. But our relationship will never be the same. From now on I will be someone to have pity on. Someone to evangelize to. I will no longer be their friend, their child. I will be their charity case. I will be recommended books and articles and I will be prayed for more than I’ve ever been prayed for before. I’ll receive emotional letters and texts. They will all try to convince me that I’m wrong. They’ll give me directions to save myself. All the while they won’t realize how arrogant they’re being.

This is why I lied for so longThey genuinely think they know something that I don’t. That reading one more piece of evidence or hearing that one more person cares about me is going to change my mind. They won’t think that I’m capable of thinking for myself. From now on I’ll be treated like a mental patient, who is incapable of caring for themselves.

This is why I lied for so long.

But I’ve come to realize that there will be light on the other side of the tunnel. This is going to be a tough time in my life but it’s something I have to do.

So pray for me.