I have to admit, I didn’t want to write this post. I didn’t want it so badly I made a whole separate anonymous blog to talk about these issues. However, as I have become more set in my position, I find it dishonest not to give an explanation to people who have known me for years.
A little under a year ago, I read an interesting blog post. It discussed how a man changed from a Christian into an atheist. I don’t remember what exactly struck me about the post. What I do know is the next day I woke up and started wondering, “What proof have I ever seen, in my ten years of being a Christian, that God really exists? Is it possible this is all inside my head?”
Here I would like to explain that I have been a Christian for ten years, and I’m not talking “go to church on Sunday and party the rest of the week, have Jesus for fire insurance” Christian. I took Christianity very seriously since my late teens, starting with mission/volunteer work, reading through my Bible, studying, praying, going to church and Bible studies, Christian Bible college, marrying a Christian man, raising my children Christian, and trying to live out my life to understand and please God. I had no doubts in my faith. I was going to be a Christian forever, no question of it. I didn’t even understand people who doubted. If you have read my blog over the years you know I have taken Christianity very seriously. This wouldn’t just happen if I just wanted to live my life MY WAY and didn’t want God bossing me around. This started because I had some seriously deep questions, and it continued because I never found satisfactory answers for them. I know others have questioned and decided being a Christian based on no proof, just the faith in their heart, was enough. I kept questioning because I wanted so badly for Christianity to be different than the other religions in the world, to justify the belief I had that Christianity was the one true way.
I made this a project. I researched many things. First I really wondered if I had been a Christian, if I had missed something. I researched what the Bible said about being a Christian and the Holy Spirit. I started questioning my faith in God. I asked him for help, to give me faith, to guide me in my quest to figure out if I was a Christian and that he existed as the God of the Bible. I decided I wasn’t going to follow this religion anymore unless I knew for certain it was true, God existed, and the Bible was the only truth about God.
From there I looked into apologetics and tried to figure out what proof was there that God existed. I wound up in various places and websites. Months went by. Sometimes I went a while without thinking about it, but I never prayed anymore. I felt very strange going to church. I would doubt everything the pastor said. I started seeing how much of preaching and Bible interpretation is based on how people emote and think God thinks. My suspicions grew bigger, and my hope in Christianity faded.
I guess what it comes down to it, I know all those years, I was praying, I was praising, I was reading, and I was making my minor and major life decisions based on my Christian faith. I had many thoughts and emotions. But it was all me. There was no response from the Almighty, whose silence persisted no matter what I did or said.
My faith never returned. The more I researched the more disappointed I became. I had based all of my spiritual life on what other people said was true, I had believed it, and I had lived it. But that’s all it ever was. Instead of finding more to support following Christianity, I found less and less. Christianity was a mind game I was playing. When I stepped outside of it to question it, it just looked like a mind game. It didn’t look like something that really existed and nonbelievers were just in denial over.
Upon the serious research I have conducted, I have come to the conclusion that there is no proof that God exists. There is no real proof that Jesus really did rise from the dead or he was the Messiah. There was simply no real, scientific proof for the existence of God or the miracles of the Bible. I don’t believe it. I am no longer a Christian.
At first I was very uncertain about living life as an atheist. After all, as a Christian I had been told that atheists lived life devoid of hope, morals, truth, or conscious. But the truth is, I’ve known many atheists over the years, and I’ve met many more in the past year. They are not wanton selfish drunkards who go home and wallow in hopelessness over the pointlessness of life (Well, there probably are some, but the reason behind it is not atheism). They have morals, they help out humanity in various ways, they find much joy in much of life. The biggest difference is that they don’t believe in God, and instead of praying for answers, they try to find them in other ways. Just like Christians, they don’t have the answers to everything and they have to make peace with that.
So, I have to say, I’m sorry if this post greatly upsets you. I know, because I was a Christian, how upset I would be if I found out my friend was going to burn in hell too. I’m really sorry. I also have to say, I don’t want to debate this with you. I have found that debating with people is very messy, very stressful, hurts relationships, and I really don’t think you are going to present any information I haven’t come across in my years of Bible study, Christian college, and my months of internet research on internet sites by the world’s top apologetics. I understand if you want to unfriend me on Facebook, or stop associating with me in the same way you did. I know that Christians intrinsically trust other Christians more than other people. I have lost that trust and I know relationships will change because of it. Please respect my decision to not believe in God as I respect your decision to believe in him. I am not going to try to argue anyone out of their belief. I don’t want you to argue me out of mine. I am already experiencing that with people in my life. This transition has made many difficulties in relationships already that I am working on. I still haven’t said anything to my children, and may not for a long time.
I have made a big step to be honest by coming out and saying I am atheist. Part of me wanted to not say anything due to the anxiety of people lashing out in judgment and arguments. Or people withdrawing from me because they see me as a changed outsider, or pitying me and seeing me as a poor lost soul, or the black sheep. I post this very nervously, honestly afraid that I will regret posting it.
I’m not bitter about Christianity, I know many others leave the faith due to having rotten experiences with Christians. I have to say for the most part, you have been so kind and giving. So many of you have given so much to me over the years. You are incredible friends and parents. Thank you for using your religion to motivate you to do kindness. Or using the wonderful kindness you had inside of you to do your religion. Please understand that I value kindness and love a great deal, and I do not leave it behind with leaving Christianity. I am taking this time to find a philosophy/worldview/moral/ethical standpoint. But that may take years, and I don’t know if there is an exact destination. Atheist does not mean one particular worldview. It just means that I don’t have the worldview of believing in God. I have a much higher standard for information to meet in order for me to embrace it wholeheartedly. So while I know what I do not believe, I don’t exactly have a label for what I I do believe. I am ok with that. I am on a journey right now. But that’s not to say I don’t know who I am. I know many things about myself and what I do believe, what I love and what I want. I am secure in who I am.
If this is something you have gone through, are going through now, or have nagging doubts, and want some support, I am here. If you would like to read my blog because of that, I will message you and send you the link. I admit I am not posting the link in here because it is incredibly personal, and I fear instead of people reading it to understand my reasons, they would read it to find ways to argue with me. I know most people who read this blog are not that way.
I believe that’s about all I needed to say. However, part of me really debates posting it, saying it to people who don’t ever really ‘ask’ about my spiritual state. I have talked about this already to many people. I hope you will take this as me simply being honest about myself to you. I hope you have peace in your life journey.