Is There a Specific Event That Turned me?

Over at blog post https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/truth-is-you-may-not-have-been-saved-after-all/ I have been engaging with the author over the issue of salvation and whether or not one can become ‘unsaved’.

It is obvious from the post title that the author takes the position of ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’, which can only mean that those like me who walk away and reject the very notion of a god could never have been saved in the first place. That’s despite the Bible’s clear position that to be saved one only needs to ‘believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’. I think this is a patronising position to take and I have precious little respect for the idea. In the world Christian and ex-Christian communication, this is my hot button. If any subject is going to raise my hackles and cause me to lose it and dive headlong into a pool of text based trash talking, this is that subject. In previous such interactions it’s not been unusual for me to leave the literary equivalent of a stinking canine turd and depart for an ice bath to give the limey wrath a chance to dissipate.

What this means, is that James should be congratulated at managing a handful of days of discourse on the subject and both parties are still interacting calmly and thoughtfully. He’s achieved what no Christian before him has. Kudos to the man.

This post isn’t about that though, during the conversation, James asked me this:

Can I ask you a question?

Is there a specific time or event you can point to when your faith began to crumble?

You are mad a God? A perceived injustice? Unsaved loved one dying?

Could be anything and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want.

If you wish to answer and have already written about it, a link would be awesome.

The above deserves it’s own post because it covers a few things which Christians too often assume about their former brethren and these myths need to be squashed. So I’m making that post here rather than replying direct to James. I’ll paste a link there and see what follows.

Is there a specific time or event you can point to when your faith began to crumble?

Good question, thoughtful and genuinely seeking my experience, I wish more Christians would ask this. No there isn’t a specific time or event. It was a gradual process which started with some doubts, sparked by how a literalist interpretation of scripture is contradicted by knowledge gathered through the scientific process. The process from doubt to rejection was a few years. Deconversions tend not to be sudden or tied to a single event, the stories I read of others who have left suggest a slow and traumatic transition is by a long way the norm. This, in my view, damages the idea that these former Christians were not truly saved.

 So what did kill my faith?

 Science killed my faith (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/suddenly-i-realised-that-atheism-was-the-only-choice/).

You are mad a God?

Why would I be? This really is a nonsensical question. How could I possibly be mad at an entity that I don’t even acknowledge exists? I get mad at questions like this and I get mad at Christians (I’m not talking about James here) that tell me what it is they think I believe. The latter happens far too often and really must be a fault in a belief system that assumes it’s correct and can’t recognise its faults and fallacies. Seriously Christians, don’t do this, it’s infuriating; ask people what they believe and listen to their answers, don’t project your own theology onto them. I digress.

No, I don’t hate any god because there are no gods to hate. I hate the stuff the Christians do and say when they misrepresent me or how seriously I took my faith.

I have not ever in my years of these conversations suspected that any atheist has hated god. This is not the right question to ask and I think this question betrays a lack of understanding of why former Christians become vocal against the faith. I hope that this question comes from a desire to understand and not a need to self justify an incorrect assumption.

A perceived injustice? Unsaved loved one dying?

No and No again.

The second question is interesting, why specify an unsaved loved one? I can see how this one could be a difficulty for a Christian but not enough to break their faith surely?

I did struggle when my paternal grandfather died because I didn’t know his faith status and I was a very committed Christian at the time (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/my-wonderful-godly-grandparents/). I struggled with not knowing if I’d see my grandfather again in heaven. That uncertainty caused me some emotional torment. But the experience didn’t shake my faith. I see that torment as a fault with Christianity and I am very pleased that I no longer care about that, rejecting religion has given me the ability to appreciate the memories of a grandparent I loved without the sting of religion influenced eternal punishment. That is a good thing, but it is not a reason why I rejected religion.

Interestingly, James didn’t ask about the death of a saved loved one, but I’ll answer that question too, with a resounding no of course (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/death-of-a-much-loved-mother/).

 

Leaving The Fold -A BBC Documentary 

​If you’re a podcast listener,  i recommend adding The BBC’s The Documentary podcast. One of the most recent episodes, Leaving The Fold, features the stories of leaving faith.  One each from Sikh, Islam and fundamentalist Christianity. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p046xpcy

It’s an enlightening listen and well produced.

Personally, i identified most with the expressions of freedom they related post exit. This comes in during the final minutes but don’t skip the rest to get there.