Breaking Up With Jesus

An individual who comments regularly on another blog I follow recently left a remarkable analogy related to what happens when a person chooses to leave “The Faith.” IMO, it magnificently describes what many, many people encounter from their “Christian” friends, relatives, employers, co-workers, pastors, neighbors … even strangers. In other words, anyone who discovers the person is no longer part of the “Family.”

Of course, it should never be this way, but it happens more frequently than one might think. Truth be known, deconvertees are frequently …

  • Ridiculed
  • Ignored
  • Browbeaten
  • Intimidated
  • Abused
  • Rejected
  • Judged
  • Discredited
  • Physically injured
  • Insulted
  • Shamed
  • … and the list goes on and on.

Sadly, many Christians who do these things truly believe they are representing their Christ. They seem to have skipped over the scriptures that talk about loving others as yourself. Some may try to justify their actions by saying Jesus’ comments were meant for other believers but if this is so, then how does any Christian expect to bring “sinners” into the fold? In my bible, Jesus didn’t include any “conditions” behind his words.

In any case, with the person’s permission, I’m sharing her story here because I think it uniquely and perfectly describes what it’s like to break up with Jesus.

I equate my deconversion from Jesus to breaking up with an abusive boyfriend. And not just any abusive man, one who is good looking, charismatic and a natural born leader. When a person splits from an abusive person who has great influence, no one believes their story of trauma. His friends, family and coworkers are every where constantly. They talk about him fondly right in front of you. When you question anything about him, you’re immediately dismissed.

“That might have been your experience, but it’s not mine.” “You don’t know him like I do.” “You must have been a difficult partner towards him.” “You need help.” “You weren’t very patient.” “You’re bitter.” “You need to be more forgiving.” “You didn’t try hard enough, you need to give it another chance.” “You’re the one with the problem.”

It’s constant bragging about the one who hurt you. It’s the push of those who do know your story to introduce him to you all over again. It’s the joyful introduction to him by those who don’t know your story. Everyone plasters his quotes around you and worships him non stop. They sing songs about him at dental and medical offices/hospitals while they pass out his literature in governmental public places. The likable abuser constantly gets a free pass to interrupt your appointment, a work day and schooling. He and his groupees are even allowed to knock on your door at dinner time and on holidays.

This is why religion is still traumatizing upon leaving it. For in the US, no matter what you do or where you go, you can’t leave your abusive ex. Many people in other countries have no clue as to what that’s like. And if you have young children, the abuser’s groupees make every attempt to get into your children’s faces when you are unable to supervise them.

In this country, it’s important to remember that not only do we have freedom of religion, but also freedom from religion.

61 thoughts on “Breaking Up With Jesus

  1. Just today I had someone pop by one of my posts telling me I only listed selfish reasons to leave Christianity. They also included the sanctimonious “I’m sorry for other Christians” and “that’s not what Jesus teaches” lines too. Nowadays, I mentally equate such statements to “I walked into a door” and “I fell down some stairs.”

    The kinds of relationships Christianity wants people to develop aren’t healthy. You’re supposed to persist in them because they’re divinely ordained, no matter how bad it gets. Pretending it is okay doesn’t make it okay.

    I hope whoever wrote the original comment is able to find solace from Christianity. I’d very much like it too. But it’s hard to get that when there are so many abused people flaunting their black eyes like it’s prove of how much sky daddy loves them.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi, there. I wrote the comment. It’s a constant work in progress. I personally see a secular therapist and have a couples’ therapist for hubs and me. Currently, he and I are both striving to get our mental and physical health in check. (This has gone on for years.) We are also trying to find secular mental help to counsel our family. We have two kids and we want them in the best health possible. I began using a public school online program last month for my youngest and my oldest is waitlisted. We have grown very tired of the constant Christian propaganda from their public schools year after year. It’s tiring, but it beats the alternative.

      Nothing in me will allow myself to follow Christianity or any other faith. I am done. If a person went through a 20 year deconversion process like I did, they’d better understand my pain. You know as well as I do, a deconvert can’t unsee what we’ve seen and we can’t unknow what we know. Occasionally, I still get a bit anxious when I see or hear anything about hell on TV.

      Just this morning I thought of a song I learned at eight in children’s church. “He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be. It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and mars. How loving and patient he must be. He’s still working on me.” It’s not the first time it’s popped in my head and it may not be the last. Christians may say it’s just god’s word not returning void. I know better. It’s just strategic child indoctrination. The good thing is it bothers me less and less every time in pops up in my head.

      I wish you the very best. You’re not alone. You’re not bad and you’re not a horrible person. You saw through the bull shit and got out. You pursued the truth and found it.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Oh, man, Sunday School songs are the worst. I’ve been out of religion for 30 years, and they still pop up in my head from time to time. I have a real knack for memorizing music, and getting it into my long-term memory, which is a real advantage for when I’m singing in my chorus. But it’s a horrible nuisance when one of those stupid songs gets into my head and will not go away!

        I probably can’t quote you a single thing said in a sermon from all of those years ago. But every word of every verse of those dumb songs is still lodged in my brain somewhere.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I’m the same way with anything musical.

          You might be too young to remember this one..

          “Bring your thirsty self right here, you got the time we got the beer for what you had in mind. Welcome to Miller time, yours and mine!”

          Church songs, TV commercial jingles, aren’t they all designed to put little ear worms inside your head so you’ll buy the product?

          I was trying to find a ringtone for my phone last week and I somehow got stuck on jingles. Suddenly, I’m singing along to one of the ringtones. “The stars will always shine. The birds always sing. As long as there is Coke there’s always the real thing. Coca Cola classic always the one. Wherever there is fun there’s always Coca Cola.”

          I guess the word of beverages won’t return void either. 🍻

          Liked by 3 people

          • Young? Hardly! I remember cigarette commercials!

            Or this: “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony….” Those jingles stay with you!

            (I also have a teddy bear named Schafer, because he’s one of many bears. And “Schafer is the one bear to have when you’re having more than one”.)

            I wonder what it is about the brain that makes songs stay with us for so long? Even people with advanced dementia can often remember songs, even when they’ve lost the rest of their memories. Whatever it is, religion sure has figured out how to use it against us!

            Liked by 2 people

            • Church is all about lighting, music and the tone of the preacher’s voice. There’s a song, usually upbeat, for the offering and there’s a slow one at the end for the altar call. And there’s always got to be an exciting song at the beginning of church service. I dreaded those fake “greet your neighbor” songs in church services…”Bind us together, lord” or “yes, I love you with the love of the Lord”.

              All the sexual innuendo songs are still my favorite and there’s a lot of them! All the old timers think just the newer songs are like that. However, I know some pretty ridiculous older hymns and choruses as well.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Even without the lighting and tone, those songs still stick. I learned a bunch of them at our Sunday School music sessions, in a bare-bones choir room, with a songleader who could barely sing. And yet, those songs are stuck as firmly in my head as the masterful Requiem I just sang yesterday, if not moreso.

              Liked by 2 people

            • I know. Sandi Patty songs will. Not. Go. Away! The thing is, I didn’t like her music while I was still a Christian and I can’t forget her songs.

              A few days ago it was full on Veggie Tales. Hubs and I were alternating back and forth with “The Bunny”, “Barbara Manatee” and the hairbrush song. Although the cartoon is religious, those songs aren’t. I guess that’s a good thing. It’s better than the Civil War arrangement I did in choir 30 years ago at my public high school in Georgia. That one still haunts me.

              Liked by 3 people

            • Cake Wrecks this morning was themed around “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything”. The Veggies are way too catchy with their silly songs! I’ve managed to avoid Sandi Patti, I think that’s probably a good thing.

              Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes I hear old church songs too. I sang so many of them week after week that they’re bound to remain. Usually I try to find some Tim Minchin or sacrilegious music. Still, hearing it is painful because memories often attach themselves to songs.

        I wish you the best as well. I live in Alabama, so I’m sadly aware of how public places get invaded by evangelicals. They get so hurt in the butt when they’re told they’re not wanted.

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        • I wish I could tell you it gets better. Sometimes I think it’s incredibly unfair for my family to be in this constant state of seeking mental help. I’ve just accepted that’s the way it is due to all of the bullying and the isolation that causes sometimes. I try to constantly look for ways to get better. The other side of that coin is the anxiety that comes with that kind of pressure. People may say I think about things too much. They’re usually the ones with a big, encouraging family or great lifelong friends. The next time I hear someone say “well, I’ve been through hard times too, ” I’ll ask “yeah, but what kind of support system do you have?” It makes all the difference in the world.

          Honestly, I rarely cared for church and I usually found people there mean, gossipy and apathetic. I still went to worship Jesus and did all I could to not “forsake the gathering of the brethern”. I volunteered and paid my tithes.

          The good news is I didn’t lose any church friends because, no matter how hard I tried, I rarely developed relationships there. Unlike other decoverts, I didn’t lose my spouse or kids. However, hubs and I are obviously dealing with a lot of religious trama, as well as the toll it takes on our marriage. Hence, all the couples counseling.

          I have shelter, life, food, water and health care, that’s way more than what others have. I have the love of three people in my house who I absolutely adore. Still, I need help. That’s the reality. I’ve been getting help for a while and may continue to do so longer still.

          SB, I wish I knew how to help you and others like us out there. Online there seems to be so many of us deconverts now. However, in discussions we find out that we’re often many, many miles apart. I’m in western Tennessee and that seems pretty far from everyone. I don’t know what could help us. Many of us are seeking help all on our own. I guess that’s why when I do actually make it to a few blogs, I just let it all go anywhere from a weekend to a week at a time. I told Victoria it’s like group therapy for me.

          I just want people to know that if I’ve commented on their blog and my email address pops up on their dashboard, please message me if they ever need to. You’re not alone, I’m here. I get it.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I should have read this post first – I just commented on Ark’s blog about you, SB. 🙂

      I loved Charity’s comment; it’s so informative and passionate and on-point! Good catch, Nan!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. When I realized that Christianity is merely a mechanism to control people I now see all of these built-in features as they are–part of the scheme to get us to control others for the benefit of the religious elites. Why should the elites bother to seek out the apostates and proselytize or persecute them when they can get us to do for them?

    This is why this abusive behavior seems so antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. Those teachings are irrelevant, controlling the flock is.

    How anyone abides being referred to as “a flock” (and they do not mean of birds, specifically they mean “sheep” … docile, obedient sheep) with some asshole priest as the shepherd is beyond me. Could they be more obvious? They call us “children” and “the flock” … why? Because those are examples of things that obey!

    I have always been confused about why Adam and Eve, naifs though they were, were punished so heavily (including in a way different from what Yahweh promised) when all they did is make a wrong decision (one that Yahweh could have reversed or he could have killed those two and started over). The point is that a decision about what is good and evil requires knowledge Yahweh didn’t want them to have. He simply … wanted … then … to …obey, not decide for themselves. The people who wrote this fable couldn’t have stated the message any clearer. They wanted Yahweh to be obeyed … and since he was in a meeting at the moment, you will just have to obey the religious elite. They know what Yahweh wants, just follow their orders … or fucking else.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If believers would read the story of A & E with any kind of literary skills, they would see it for what it is. But noooo! That would be blasphemous!

      But yes … you’re surely correct about the motive/reason behind the Christian “push.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is also the fear factor involved in proselytizing: It makes them uncomfortable to see someone capable of forming complete thoughts without a prayer going on. They’re so dependent on the Je-sus stuff, they have no idea how to think on their feet, witness the incredible array of bible quotes they use, any time you ask them why they believe..

        There is also the father/child aspect (“I am but a child in your arms, father, teach me”) which gets really really creepy…they are continually being told (and telling themselves) how unworthy they are, how empty with out Je-sus, how lost…lamb, sheep, protector, savior…And they want the rest of us to hum along.

        I never told anyone I left the church, or the religion. I just did. No one noticed. =)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent points Steve. And in ancient Judaism only the high Priests from the tribe of Levi could be in the full presense of Yahweh, remember? Thus, putting THEM in an unbelievable power position over the masses. And also during the same era, the masses were taught (brainwashed) that the skill of writing (Scribes) was God-given, God-ordained, which eventually evolved into Holy Scripture being the direct Word of Yahweh.

      Begs the question Does God care only about a few, an oligarchy over His entire Creation? I can quickly think of many other gods and religions that are much more compassionate, caring, and giving than this one!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Slight correction; only Aaron’s sons could be priests and only one among them could be the high priest. Some Levites, led by Korah, tried to rise to the level of high priest … but it didn’t end well for them. It’s all in Numbers 16. The Levites were in charge of just about everything – moving, setting up and taking down the tabernacle. It’s true that Aaron was a Levite, but only his lineage could be priests. So that puts one descendant of Aaron as being the only one who could be in God’s presence, putting him in a position of great power over all the other descendants of Aaron, then over all the other Levites, then over everyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post, Nan. While I agree that region and religious people can be abusive, I was left wondering what the person meant by breaking up with Jesus being like “breaking up with an abusive boyfriend.” In what way was Jesus Himself like an abusive boyfriend? Again, I’m not talking about religion but Jesus Himself. Just curious. 🙂

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    • I think you missed the point, Mel. Her story is about leaving Christianity (depicted as an abusive relationship) and some of the things she faced after making this life-changing decision. Every scenario she described is exactly how it feels to someone who has walked away from “The Faith.”

      She uses Jesus only as a symbol because he is the representative of Christianity.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Okay. While I would differentiate a religious experience with “Christians” from a relationship with Jesus, I can see her point. The connection is just a bit misleading to me (guilt by association), but thanks for the clarification.

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        • You are guilty by association because you’re a Jesus follower. My beef is with the idea of Jesus. Period. I know that there are some people, even atheists, who’ll say that Christians need to be more like Jesus. I don’t think that way at all. They ARE like war mongering, arrogant Jesus and there lies the problem.

          Not to mention, your Jesus was a liar. He never returned to the generation he said he would return to. And he still hasn’t come back! He also said that we’d do even greater things than what he did while he was on this earth. For years I prayed and pleaded for healings and resurrections, while thinking it was my own fault that I never saw any of that. I thought that I must have yet even more unspoken sin in my life.

          And if Jesus really did come to be the mediator between YHWH and man, why the hell are y’all still teaching about the tithe? The tithe was strictly about paying the priests as a source of income because they cut, burned and walked between two halves of an animal carcass. For all the smoke and blood, sinners paid the priests 10% as payment for their time and trouble. Isn’t that what the tribe of Levi was all about, a lineage of priests to be the mediator between YHWH and man? And if that is Jesus’ role, why do people still pay tithes? Are they saying that Jesus’ sacrifice didn’t happpen or are they saying it wasn’t good enough when they tithe? And why the tribe of Judah? It seems like to me the priest to end all priests might come from the tribe of Levi.

          No, don’t think for second that I’m picking on you and your fellow Christians, Mel. I’m going after your big man, Jesus. He is the very center of confusion. He hasn’t, nor will he ever be, the solution.

          Liked by 5 people

    • I’m the person who wrote that, Mel. I’ll answer that for you. An abusive person is constantly blaming you for any anger he feels towards you. He constantly blames you for the wrong in the world. Everything is your fault and you can never do anything right. An abusive person demands his own way at all times. There is no room for your thoughts, feelings and creativity in the relationship. Everything you say, do and live revolves around the abusive person. You are not allowed to live for yourself. You live for him only. You do not own your own body, sexuality, or personhood. You are the abuser’s property. You die to self and live for him. You must decrease so that he may increase. He “sacrificed” himself for you, even though you never asked him too. And he did so for the act of two people in a garden 4,000 years before his great sacrifice. That was 2,000 years before your own existence! An abuser demands gratitude for every little thing as though you’re Oliver Twist in desperate need of another cup of broth from a mean governor/teacher at a nasty orphanage. An abuser is a person who refers to himself as Lord, Shepherd, master and savior because he sees you as a nobody, a stupid sheep, a slave and a sinner. An abusive person tells you that you’re a rotten sinner for just your mere existence is severly flawed. Only the abusive person can make you whole. Only he can save you. An abusive lover gives you two options (and thinks he’s allowing you to operate of your own free will) by demanding your obedience forever or he will destroy you forever.

      I’m not sugarcoating Jesus. I did that faithfully for three dozen years. Jesus isnt the solution, he’s the problem.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Hi Charity, No, you’re certainly not sugarcoating Jesus here! There is a lot of animosity in your description. I’m sorry that was your experience. Thank you for clarifying what you meant.

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        • Mel, aren’t all of these things in the Bible over and over again? And thank you for reiterating what Nan addressed in her post with your referencing MY animosity and being sorry that it was MY experience. Way to go on the typical victim shaming and victim blaming that is Christianity. Just like Jesus the abuser, you’ve put it all on me. Gaslighting, Christianity, there’s no difference.

          Liked by 3 people

            • Okay, now you’re judging my motives. I am not doubting your experience or blaming you for it. I’m truly am sorry if I came across that way. I don’t have to agree with your theology to acknowledge your experience. I’ll just have to leave it at that. I do wish you well.

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      • Mel:

        Okay, now you’re judging my motives. I am not doubting your experience or blaming you for it. I’m truly am sorry if I came across that way. […]

        Zoe: A certain amount of judgement/discernment is required for those of us who have been abused in the church and especially abused by leadership. It’s what keeps us safe.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. All too familiar and too frequent Nan. 😦

    When my Mom’s late husband suffered a debilitating heart-attack that paralyzed much of his body, speech, and motor-skills, subsequently putting him into an intensive care nursing home for his final 3-4 months of life, the final 2-weeks were extremely painful for him due to chronic urethra-tube and urinary-track infections (among a few other recurring infections) while in the nursing home. Mom would visit him every single day if not TWICE a day for those last 6-weeks keeping the nursing staff on top of his non-verbal complaints of pain and discomfort. It was the only way he could halfway communicate. During their 10-yr marriage both he and my Mom were regular church goers and professed Christians as they had been all their lives.

    When the final week and days came around for him, Mom was certain that he was trying to tell her to tell everyone he was ready to go and just wanted the severe pain to stop, although he could not enunciate any of those words. She informed the nursing staff and attending doctor to cease all attempts to artificially simulate organ functions and ease his pain in the final hours. She was with him, holding his hand when he took his last breath and the heart-monitor flattened. A few days later, as directed by his Will & Testament, he was cremated.

    In the coming days before his funeral, Mom’s younger sister and two other Evangelical-Fundy women derided my Mom for not only ‘allowing him to die’ (pseudo-execution in their minds,), but also had the rude audacity to ridicule her for having him cremated… because “it went against traditional Christian buriels and the eventual resurrection/rapture.” Yes, I shit you not! 😮

    So, like this lady’s story here Nan, it seems that even when one is a good, decent human being and moderate Christian all their life, that doesn’t mean shit to radical Christians either.

    Yet, I must note here too that the New Testament does indeed discuss adequately how “luke warm” Christians will not be saved because “Jesus does not know them” (Matthew 7:21-23) It isn’t just Believers that are the world’s problem, their “holy scriptures” are just as horrible, contradictory, and fallacious!

    P.S. Tell whoever shared this story thank you. Stories like her’s need to be heard/read for other Faith-followers to find the courage and support to break up from [the mythical] Jesus.

    Liked by 5 people

      • Nan, do you think it possible that at least some of these folks may have personality disorders, or other types of mental illness that has become conflated with their religious beliefs?

        I mean what impacts how people take a hold of their faith, or even how they interpret the Scripture?

        In my mind, Taboo’s mother did exactly the right thing…

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        • Rebecca, certainly we are all individuals and as such, we each approach life in different ways — although I do feel overall we tend to be fairly similar in our basic outlook.

          However, having said that, I do believe there are those who (perhaps for the reasons you mentioned) take the extreme view. While this happens in all walks of life, oftentimes it seems much more pronounced when dealing with religious individuals. And frequently these people are extremely intolerant of anyone who disagrees.

          This is why people like Charity and others who have left the faith have such a negative view of Christians. Too many of them believe their way is the only way and by god, they’re going to make sure you believe it too!

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    • Your story breaks my heart, Professor. Your mom was tired, weak and in mourning. And all those women could do was muster judgement and criticism.

      I’m so incredibly sorry that she wasn’t loved and comforted as she should have been.

      (The comment above is mine, btw.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Charity. And huge applause and thanks for you and Nan sharing your comment here! ❤

        Yes, judgment, criticism, loud mouths, insensitivity, etc, then the all too popular pat response to everything difficult or traumatic: "Our thoughts and prayers for you during this time“… rather than (silent?) action and physical investment of being there DOING seems to be the Xian-service trend. :/

        While I was living in Carrollton, TX for about 9-years I was frequently attending a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church just to intimately and better understand the organization. I was already a fervent Freethinking Humanist (indifferent Agnostic?). I tell you what Charity, those people are freakin’ TROOPERS when it comes to “action” and community help/service! I have never had any sort of social, political, or psychological drama from any UU member; in many ways they’re good Humanists too. 🙂

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        • I get what you’re saying about UU churches, PT. From what I gather, they’re all a little different and sometimes reflect the area of their location.

          We have two UU congregations in Memphis. They use words on their sites and calendars that make me nervous….worship, service, hymn, religion, spiritual and sermon. They’re both 25 to 30 miles from me. One of them makes me anxious with its hosting AA meetings because getting guilted by god stuff is sometimes the worst thing for a user. I have to admit, the other church seems more family friendly and it’s a bit tempting. There’s two secular homeschooling groups in Memphis. One has classes and the other one is primarily for after school type of activities. They meet at the second UU church I mentioned. I’ve actually had some contact with a person affiliated with the secular homeschooling activities group. She was really nice. So, who knows.

          Btw, we’re moving to Memphis as soon as we can. The practical jokes, vandalism, tresspassing and bullying have reached a whole ‘nother level this school year since Labor Day. The week before and during Halloween were both exhausting, humiliating, time consuming and downright threatening. Now that our worst neighbors’ kids are becoming teenagers, there are two generations hurting us.

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          • I completely understand what you are saying and experiencing Charity, and I’m truly sorry for it. Moving to Memphis, huh? Have you and hubby considered other more progressive areas of the U.S. like Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, and several other NE states? 😉 😀

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    • If ever there was a counter argument to the “atheists hate god” trope, this is it. The audacity of true believers, the mind numbing circular arguments, and the complete necessity of checking your intellect at the door is why we so dislike the religion/s.

      Note to x-ians, you need to work on your problems before you start pointing fingers elsewhere.

      Prof. I find your experience almost unbelievable, yet I know it is all to real.

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      • Thank you Shelldigger. 🙂 At the risk of understating, I have never been much of a quite spectator. Hahaha… but I damn sure LOVE being a particpator!!! I crave engagement with people, things, and places/cultures. I am truly a kindred, reincarnated, modern Marco Polo soul with way too much curiosity. Like Feed Me Seymore in Little Shop of Horrors, only for me it is “STIM-U-LATE ME!” 😛

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  5. Extremely interesting psychology here, equating religious faith with romantic love; and, it makes a lot of sense.

    In regards to being ridiculed, ignored, browbeaten, intimidated, abused, rejected, judged, discredited, physically injured, insulted, shamed, and other nastiness by one’s former religious associates, I would consider it a noble badge of honor.

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  6. Breaking up Mormon is tough too, in a little different way. You lose friends, family, clients, and more. But they can make it a little easier because your a bad seed, they just stay away from you and your sin and rotten influence on the church.

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    • Actually, many “regular” Christians will stay away too. It’s the more “dedicated” (brainwashed) ones that can’t seem to leave you alone. They consider it their God-given Christian duty to bring you back “into the fold.”

      BTW, thanks for the follow. Hope you’ll visit often.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Brilliant post. And whaddya know? Up Pops Mel.

    What a Dick!

    He just does not get it, does he?
    Surely he cannot be this dense?
    No, in fact I really do not think that he can possibly be so blatantly thick. As a professional(sic) pastor he must have been schooled in dealing with this type of response from his handlers. ”Remember, it is not the fault of Jesus but the humans who have interpreted His word incorrectly.”

    FFS, Mel is exactly what Charity is talking about.

    ”Let me whisper sweet vacuous nothings in one ear and condemn, ridicule and belittle you in the other. Then as I walk behind you, shaft you in the process. My dear, you are going to get screwed one way or another.”

    Any moment we are going to get a visit form everyone’s favorite comedian, John Branyan, and if we are truly blessed his daughter wll pay us all a visit too. And won’t that be nice?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. To me, church was more like getting a fix. I hated missing Sundays because I never knew what I missed out on. Then there was always somebody who’d say something like: “We missed you last week. I hope to see you there this week.” So the first few Sundays of missing out on church was the toughest – wanting to be there, knowing I needed to be there, feeling so guilty for not having a day off – not even for one Sunday in a month of Sundays. Over time, it hurt less. I had probably heard all the sermons that were going to be preached and sang all the songs that were to be sung. Eventually a whole year had flown by with maybe just one or two visits to church in all that time. One visit we were just faces in a crowd, and all the contemporary music that we had known had been phased out, so it was all new songs and I felt every bit the outsider. Some Sundays I remember to eavesdrop on the Church radio program and I’m just blown away by the bad theology / teaching that the pastors pass off as the Word of God; like the one pastor who declared that any wife who refused to have sex with her husband when he demanded it of her was under the influence of a Jezebel spirit that was trying to control her husband by not being submissive to him and feigning a headache as an excuse. Now I find it so hard to go back – I don’t think that I’d truly belong and I’d know I’d have to hide my doubts just to save a semblance of sanity and I know how tiresome that gets. I don’t know where I belong / with whom I belong.

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    • Hi Jamie! I would daresay your experiences are shared by many on this blog (and elsewhere). 🙂

      And isn’t it interesting how once you’ve left the church and then do the “visit” thing you really notice how it just doesn’t “fit” anymore? As many have attested, “breaking up with Jesus” is not easy, but the freedom of “being on your own” is irreplaceable.

      Thanks for your comment. Look forward to hearing more from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Nan. I found you by accident and I am a bit confused by your posting, especially likening breaking up with Jesus to an abusive partner. Maybe you can expand to help people understand what you truly mean. From what I hear people who leave Christianity do so because of poor human action in the church not the divine itself. The good news is that the door is always open for relationship continuation with Jesus and more importantl that of one in a deeper and a far greater meaningful way. I wish you all the best in healing from whatever sorrow that came upon you and made you feel like giving up. Kind regards.

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    • Hi Lana! Thank you for stopping by and offering your thoughts.

      The individual who made the comment I referenced in the post identified herself (Charity) and left more details in the comment section. If you haven’t already, I suggest you read what she has to say. Her remarks should give you more insight.

      The actual point of my post is the way those who have chosen to leave “The Faith” are treated (no matter what their reasons are). Jesus emphasized love, yet far too many Christians show nothing but contempt and anger.

      I hope this clarifies for you the reason for my post. Please feel free to join the discussion. We’ll try not to bite … but no guarantees. 😀

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  10. I remember blogging about losing my religion about 15 years ago. In fact, I blogged extensively about it for quite awhile and, interestingly, never once received a negative comment from another Christian. I did, however, receive lots of reinforcing comments from others who had left the religion as well. My own journey away from the church was part of an overall Dark Night of the Soul that I experienced. Won’t clog up your post about it here, but during that time I allowed myself the grace to explore any and all spiritual practices that felt right to me. Nothing was off limits unless I felt something negative about it (and I have a very good “feeler”. :)..) I eventually recovered from that dark night and went on to live my life. Interestingly, I never felt at home in any other type of spiritual gathering. I tried New Age/New Thought, Wicca, Buddhism, native American spirituality, goddess religion, etc. While I did pick up some insights and experiences I feel were valuable from my explorations, I never found a spiritual home among them. It took another crises of faith (dark night) in 2015 to help lead me (back) to my spiritual roots and the place I belong – firmly in the loving embrace of the One I know as Jesus. Funny thing is, while I walked away from Him – even doubting His existence at times – He never walked away from me. In fact, He met me wherever I was at….in the middle of using a tarot deck, in the middle of a guided meditation, while I was learning Reiki, and while using crystals. 🙂 Religion can suck, big time. But in my experience, Jesus could never – ever – be “abusive”, in the sense of the analogy of the commentor you posted. He’s always been nothing but GRACE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Grace, for your thoughtful comment. While not everyone has experienced what Charity did, many others who have left the faith have experienced similar things … often to the point where they needed to seek therapy. As you suggest, perhaps it is not so much “Jesus” that causes the pain, but his “followers.”

      In any case, thanks again for stopping by and telling us about your experiences.

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  11. The “abusive boyfriend” analogy you quoted is spot on. I have experienced things like that even before I left the church. They wanted to “fix” anyone who strayed from their teaching. Not even biblical teaching, but the church’s teaching. Christian people tend to act the least Christ-like of any people on earth. That says something. It should be a huge red flag but yet people still go along with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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