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Goodbye Jesus

Coming Out Letters- Post Them Here


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In recognition of what a valuable resource coming out letters are, and how helpful they are to many of us here, I like to start a topic solely for the purpose of posting coming out letters.


If anyone has a coming out letter they'd like to post here, no matter how long or short, please do. Your letters may prove valuable guides for other ex-christians trying to write similar letters.


I actually have one to post myself. It's not much, just an email I wrote to a former pastor of mine earlier today. I will include it below to get the ball rolling. I'd love to see as many here as possible :)


Thanks guys and girls :)



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this is the coming-out email I wrote to a former pastor of mine earlier today. He's been on my mind a lot since my deconversion, as I'm having trouble believing that this man still believes.


Here it is:


Hi Pastor,


Thanks for giving me your email address. I would call you, but I am better at writing out my thoughts than speaking them.


These days I am mentally well. I have been in recovery since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 2 back in February, 2010. But that's not what I really wanted to write to you about, though it does play some part in it, as you'll see in a bit.


I am now an atheist. Sometimes people think that I never really believed to begin with, or I would have never lost my faith. But I think you, of all people, would know that that wasn't true. I am not angry with god, either; it's hard to be angry at something that you don't believe exists. That being said, though, it does devastate me to see the pain and division that religion causes.


The great irony of my life is that, in my quest to find the truth, I lost my faith. Remember all those questions I used to ask? Well, when I was 17, I came across a verse in the bible; you'd know it well. It says, "work out thy own salvation with fear and trembling, and lean not on your own understanding..." I took that verse to heart. I believed that god was telling me to question everything, and get to the root of the matter. I felt that god was telling me not to take what anyone told me for granted, but to, instead, work it out for myself. So over the next few years, I thought that questioning would bring me closer to god.


The failure of my marriage rocked my faith, no doubt about it. But still I clung to my beliefs. Emotionally, it was a very hard time in my life, and while I did not understand why the man I felt god had chosen for me had turned out to be a jackass, I believed that god knew and understood and everything was still working according to his plan.


When I got mentally ill, I still believed. By that stage, I was having some doubts, but I refused to entertain them. I shut them out, desperate to hold onto my beliefs. One of the issues that was cropping up, though, was the question of how did I know that I was right? There were so many different religions around the world, and even so many variations of christianity, and everyone believed that they had the truth and everyone else was wrong. So how did I know that I was correct?


At the end of 2008, after my first trip to hospital, I moved to Coffs Harbour. I was more desperate than ever to hold onto my beliefs, and I joined the local Blue Cross church. I went to church, I took my nephews to Sunday School, I attended a home group. But increasingly, I felt like something was wrong. I was still very much mentally ill at this point, wrongly diagnosed and on the wrong medication, so my thought processes were not very strong. I continued attending through 2009, but something was amiss. I no longer felt comfortable in church. I had also tried another pentecostal church, and I had the same feeling there. Increasingly, I was feeling like an outsider, and I didn't know why.


By early 2010, I was finally diagnosed, and with the right medication, I started to improve. But the diagnosis of bipolar brought about a new issue for my faith. In order to accept my illness, I had to accept what my mind was capable of making me think, feel, and believe. That naturally lead me to call into question all of the religious and spiritual experiences I had had. How could I be sure that it was god I was feeling? What if it was all in my head, too?


Finally, at the beginning of last year, I began to really research. I watched documentary after documentary on christianity. I questioned, I discussed, and I found myself looking at the world differently. One of the death knells for my faith was the day I realised that free will was not the greatest gift we humans had; rather, it was the ability to think independently. But all around me, I saw christians not thinking at all, just blindly believing what they'd been told without question.


I learned about the documentary hypothesis. I learned about the polytheistic origins of judaism. I learned that Yahweh, El-Shaddai, El-Aliyom, and Baal were originally Caananite gods, whom the ancient jews had adopted. I learned that Genesis was based upon a Babylonian creation myth. I learned that no evidence had ever been found for Solomon, and also that the ancient Egyptians were not in the business of enslaving entire races. I found contradictions in the bible, and even Noah's Ark, again, was another borrowed myth that can be scientifically refuted. Then there were the issues with Jesus, whom not only appears to fit the bill for the hero archetype, but cannot be proven to have ever lived. Or, rather, which jesus they were referring to- one or a combination of them who were around at the same time. I discovered that most christians don't even follow jesus, which isn't a surprise, because his salvation was really only intended for the jews, anyway. Christians follow the teachings of Paul.


Basically, long story short, every question led to more questions, and in the end, Occam's Razor started slashing. By the 1st of November last year, my faith, and all of my beliefs, were gone. And now I am an atheist. And I found a peace in atheism I never imagined possible. I have found myself a more conscientious person, because I have to be able to look myself in the eyes. I take greater responsibility for my actions. And I appreciate life far more, because there is no heaven or hell waiting for me.


But since I lost my faith, you have been on my mind. There's a question that's been bugging me; I find it hard to believe that you still believe. I know you are very intelligent, and I know you think a lot. I know you research a lot and are well read. So, I guess I just wanted to ask you, do you still believe?


Warm regards,



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Wonderful letter, Pudd. And I love your "in the end, Occam's Razor started slashing."

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Great letter! Good luck with your correspondence.


I watched documentary after documentary on christianity....


I learned about the polytheistic origins of judaism. I learned that Yahweh, El-Shaddai, El-Aliyom, and Baal were originally Caananite gods, whom the ancient jews had adopted.


Out of curiosity, do you have a link to a good documentary on that subject? Thanks....

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Great letter! Good luck with your correspondence.


I watched documentary after documentary on christianity....


I learned about the polytheistic origins of judaism. I learned that Yahweh, El-Shaddai, El-Aliyom, and Baal were originally Caananite gods, whom the ancient jews had adopted.


Out of curiosity, do you have a link to a good documentary on that subject? Thanks....


...I may do. Just checking one out now. Will post the link later if it turns out to be a good comprehensive look at it :) There is another, but just want to check this one out :)

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Guest Valk0010

I have two



I guess one could call me a de-converting Christian. I am still a little on the fence, but leaning towards the non-Christian side. My story is something of a mystery even to me.


I was raised in a Christian home, with Christians of various stripes and zealousness. I followed in their footsteps for the longest time, being a creationist and the like. But one day I was at a public library searching for videos on atheism for the sake of learning how to argue against it. By luck I discovered a video of a Christopher Hitchens' lecture on his book. Lets just say the surprise was mind blowing. It didn't de-convert me, obviously, but it got my mind thinking: What if there was more to what I believed, what I knew, and what I was told about? I checked out his book, and started to read it. It made me question my beliefs, particularly in regards to Creationism, and it showed what my belief system can do to me in a way I had never seen.


I soon realized that I couldn't believe in the stuff anymore. I soon had a problem though, since I had never been quite able to not wear my heart on my sleeve. It was talking to my grandmother, and I exclaimed that I wasn't sure what to believe anymore. (I found it is good policy to be a pragmatist in talking about things like this.) Well, in short, she made me question again, so I gave religion another shot, though I continued to do research. I found my new Hitchens inspired convictions to be sound. But then I found what I much later determined to be a crock of a book: Why I Believe by D. James Kennedy. It brought me back into the fold.


As I continued to research and think, I flirted with de-conversion again. This time I grew more certain in my convictions because of the fact that I thought that the bible wasn't historically accurate (again thanks to Hitchens' book). I soon became a bit aggressive about what I thought, and acted as such. It ultimately culminated in a discussion with a pastor. In the emotional state I was in (due to getting into an argument with my Grandmother of all things), the pastor was able to beat my arguments against Christianity. (The arguments wouldn't have been all that good if I had been in a less emotional state of mind, I realize in hindsight.) So, I decided to make a serious attempt at being a Christian. I started looking more at apologetics and it only reinforced the conclusion that the Bible wasn't historically inaccurate. Then I took a break from in-depth study of this and thought more about the theology of the Bible and how it worked. Let just say that I became a moderate in regards to Christianity. I was still in support of stem cell research, and I believed that people's decisions should be left to the individual.


In the fall of this year I started taking a class in the anthropological development of religion. I was curious about how religions developed. One of the things I learned is that to truly understand belief systems you have to be as completely objective as possible.


Soon I started to take a look a Christianity. I started to apply the concepts I was learning. I also got up enough guts to think about the Bible in my own way, not using the standard Christian norms. What got me where I am today is realizing that the typical apologetic argument for the Bible is sound within itself, but it leaves out too many important details. Like, what was the culture around them like? What are the other kinds of possibilities other then what is in the Bible that could have influenced the apostles behavior? Also in general concept, what could have happened that was not mentioned in the Bible to influence its conclusion? And to me, as far as I know, these questions have not been well examined by apologetics.


In many ways I have found answers. For one, the factors (cultural theological, and otherwise) that could have influenced the apostles are numerous, and easily could be something other than the Bible. I also started to examine (from an alien perspective as AC Grayling would put it) the ethics taught in the bible. I found that the moral codes particular to Christianity (not just general things like shall not murder), and realized that these are maladaptive codes of behavior that only really work in that culture well.


But still many questions remain and I would like responses.

  1. What possible reasons could have Christians had to make a up a empty tomb story?
  2. Why could no one find the body of Jesus?
  3. What could explain the appearances of Jesus to the apostles?
  4. How could have legend developed so quickly after Jesus died, that what was written in the gospels could not have been at least generally accurate?


Based on my personal research, I have concluded that Jesus existed and taught, was not well liked by the establishment and died. I welcome criticism on those points.


I guess I am caught in a contradiction right now. It would be nice to have some certainty.


A Letter to my unknowing loved ones.

I have always said I am in search of truth whatever it may be. It may be of some surprised to you, but November, 9 2009, I came to the conclusion unless given very good reason otherwise there is no good, rationale reason to be a Christian.


This is still a very raw thing for me, for many reasons. I will forever be marked by this system of belief for one, and also a big similarity we have is gone. I now also have to deal with the fact that, by using my brain and following the issues where they have gone, I will be always destined to hell in your eyes. That is a burden I wish not to bear, but I can’t lie to myself. Self-delusion has been one of humanities biggest faults, and I find it disturbing, and awful. In an effort of not being delusional or dogmatic I leave you a realm of hope, I would repent and turn back to your deity if given convincing proof.


I still look at Christianity as a historian and a scholar would because I am still fascinated by it. I know this will be hard for you to accept, let me for a moment shows you how I came to this conclusion. I first tried to learn the arguments of the enemy. I discovered that I found those arguments convincing.


So my first attempt at leaving, the faith, but later, I found there was arguments for the faith. I was convinced by those arguments. I then spent a while wavering. I made the mistake of becoming what one could call an evangelical. It blew up in my face, when you forced me to talk to Pastor Rick. Well he beat my arguments. So I tried to come back to the fold. I decided I was going to try to find some middle ground between atheism and Christianity, because I couldn’t for “evidence” reasons leave Christianity, yet, I couldn’t stomach fundamentalism.


I grew to work rather absurdly evolution into Genesis. I also tried to become somewhat versed in arguments for Christianity, from my first academic love history. I etched out a meager faith existence. I occasionally struggled, but my time working for God would be working out those details. Slowly I wanted to become more evangelical (in the sense of devotion not fundamentalism.) So I started reading the bible more, in fact I tried to read a chapter a day. It got to the point, where I decided to learn more about Christian living. I came to verses like Matthew 5:23 I decided to try to figure out exactly what this means, and how it makes sense.


Well the effort played a great deal of mental strain on me. I grew ultimately into an apathetic discontent over the issue and left it alone. Meanwhile as you know I had been taking an anthropological development of religion class. This had also been a building problem, I started to go about a mental doublethink, I was trying to massage problems I started to see in my faith, and make them go away. The dissonance was stunning looking back on it.


I am not sure if I would have ever left the faith, if it wasn’t for that evening, it was a Thursday. Lou was teaching on how religion works in on the mind. I realized about half way through the lecture, that, I can’t fight it, the resurrection (my main defense for Christianity) is explainable by natural means, and a miracle is not required. I tried, to rationalize it, but I couldn’t I just had to accept it. It didn’t work.


I still didn’t see a reason to reject the idea of a god so I became what is called a deist. I also for the sake of honesty starting digging in deeper to what the minority opinion on the beginnings of Christianity had to say. I also started to try to look at the bible, in as much an outsider role as I possibly could. What I found was revolting. And also I found that many of the key arguments for Christianity are either falsehoods or well designed fallacies.


I found my conviction on that day reaffirmed. I continued to study, it was mixture of fascination and uncertainty that drove me. Meanwhile I in a effort to get some real live responses, emailed John Loftus, Richard Carrier, and I wrote the article from November 09 called still on the fence, if you look I called myself a deconverting Christian. I did that because I didn’t have to guts or the certainty to say I had become a apostate in public.


Well all the responses helped me a great deal. I also a few days after discovered more evidence that confirmed my disbelief into such a way I could start to become really comfortable. I joined the forums after that. I meet homosexuals that had tried to “pray” their sexuality away. I came about one person that was a Christian ascetic that deconverted.


On the count of homosexuality, you would think that something such a abomination would have been taken away, and a seconds notice (well maybe not that fast but you get the idea). The ascetic proved to me something, there could truly be a former Christian, and that the Holy Spirit, if it existed at all would have to be pretty weak to let someone like that go.


I got to a point later, after seeing you grandma being bothered by your shoulder realized that a deist god would care, and then I said, well there would have to be nothing up there. Please understand me carefully though, I am not saying that I know that there is nothing up there, but I have not seen good evidence for it.


I have sense let my research into Christianity take bit more of a backseat as I gather myself emotionally since I am rebuilding from the bottom to make myself anew. I am also not emotionally able, to debate Christianity really. To be honest, I don’t think I am well read enough to be a good debater either. I have not closed my mind off to Christianity. But the burden of proof is getting higher in the more I look, and the less convincing the belief system seems.



I didn't send the second one and the first was more for me alone.


And Pudd thank you for reminding me. I should become more well versed in Old Testament history.

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