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My Deconversion Process


RJT
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I just wrote a long and detailed description of my deconversion and somehow lost it while trying to post it. I am NOT going to rewrite all of that now. Got things to do :) But I will say here, for the sake of anyone struggling with deconversion at the moment, that I didn't rush it. While I no longer believe Christianity to be more than a fairy tale, it still isn't something you want to carelessly rush out of. I don't know that there's a time-frame one SHOULD follow, but I can say that it took me a number of years. Of course, I was a full-time evangelical minister and had a LOT invested in my faith-life, not least of all my job and my marriage.

 

So I struggled, held back, made excuses, gave it lots and lots of thought, read books, etc. What truly lit the afterburners in my deconversion process was when I stood in my front yard one afternoon and prayed to a god I wasn't convinced existed, asking him, "Lord, please make me an honest man...no matter the cost." From that momenet I made it my conscious effort to be honest in all ways: actions, speech, prayer, belief, etc., no matter where it led or what it cost me. Now, six years later, I'm a happy heathen carpenter in Pennsylvania.

 

I went from committed (though struggling) evangelical Christian to "Liberal Christian" (owning my doubts about the Bible as God's inspired, inerrant revelation to man), to general theist (believing in a generic personal deity of some sort), to deist (belief in a supernatural being that's at the root of the universe, but not personally involved in it as the theists believes), and finally to agnostic. And now I'm wrestling with the suspicion that I'm probably more atheist than agnostic. But I can't conclude here without saying with genuine conviction that I have found in UNbelief all that I was supposed to have found in believing. Oone day I will write, however, about some of the things I miss from my Christian experience. Don't worry, I have not regretted for one single minute bidding adieu to God, not for a minute!

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I just wrote a long and detailed description of my deconversion and somehow lost it while trying to post it. I am NOT going to rewrite all of that now. Got things to do :) But I will say here, for the sake of anyone struggling with deconversion at the moment, that I didn't rush it. While I no longer believe Christianity to be more than a fairy tale, it still isn't something you want to carelessly rush out of. I don't know that there's a time-frame one SHOULD follow, but I can say that it took me a number of years. Of course, I was a full-time evangelical minister and had a LOT invested in my faith-life, not least of all my job and my marriage.

 

So I struggled, held back, made excuses, gave it lots and lots of thought, read books, etc. What truly lit the afterburners in my deconversion process was when I stood in my front yard one afternoon and prayed to a god I wasn't convinced existed, asking him, "Lord, please make me an honest man...no matter the cost." From that momenet I made it my conscious effort to be honest in all ways: actions, speech, prayer, belief, etc., no matter where it led or what it cost me. Now, six years later, I'm a happy heathen carpenter in Pennsylvania.

 

I went from committed (though struggling) evangelical Christian to "Liberal Christian" (owning my doubts about the Bible as God's inspired, inerrant revelation to man), to general theist (believing in a generic personal deity of some sort), to deist (belief in a supernatural being that's at the root of the universe, but not personally involved in it as the theists believes), and finally to agnostic. And now I'm wrestling with the suspicion that I'm probably more atheist than agnostic. But I can't conclude here without saying with genuine conviction that I have found in UNbelief all that I was supposed to have found in believing. Oone day I will write, however, about some of the things I miss from my Christian experience. Don't worry, I have not regretted for one single minute bidding adieu to God, not for a minute!

If you didn't write the book "Why I Believed: Reflections of a former Missionary" by Kenneth Daniels, you should read it. I can't believe the similarities. He ultimately became an atheist, but his journey was long with several attempts to preserve his faith.

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Hi and welcome to the forum. I think we all have various timetables, mine spread out over a number of years, heck probably since I was a kid looking back on it now, just took me awhile to realize that fact!

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It is said losing the faith is a path of 100 steps. And you can never go back a step, but some men can run down the path and others walk slowly, and some spend time fretting over particular steps, and some walk a bit and stop forever, too afraid to continue.

 

But once you come to a realization about a belief, you can't go back to the same naivety, and so if questions are willing to be asked, one will walk the path though each progression is slightly different.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah, it would be difficult for a "true believer" to drop the religion cold-turkey. That would be quite a shock to the system. Most of us need time to deprogram from the fairy tale worldview.

 

It took me several months from when I first started doubting until I was convinced that christianity couldn't be true, and then a few years after that of still attending church to appease my wife. Now, on a personal level, I'm nearly completely out of it (the only exception being that I do still go to church a couple times a year when visiting with family).

 

I'm constantly surrounded by religious people, though, so the only places where I can have rational conversations are on the Internet and at a Freethinkers Meetup I attend.

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I still dabble with Universalism, because it is such a beautiful idea. Stephen Colbert has said that an agnostic is just an atheist without balls. This describes me perfectly.

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