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.

Superb Book! “Love Over Religion”

I just finished reading an outstanding book called, “Love Over Religion: Why I Left Christianity”.

Now I know there are tons of books, articles, blogs, etc. that revolve around this topic but in my humble opinion, this book stands head and shoulders above pretty much all of them.

The author, Danica Allen, describes herself as a lifelong student of religion and an active churchgoer for 10 years. She journeyed out of Christianity in favor of, as she puts it, “loving others, myself, and the earth without the confines of religion”.

I wish I could convey the impact her book had on me. There was so much I agreed with! In fact, I feared I might get a headache from vigorously nodding my head as I read. 😉

Just to give you an idea of the contents, here are a couple of chapter titles:

  • God Murders Children … and he thinks you should too
  • God Encourages Slavery and Rape … but don’t go to church without a hat
  • The Negative Impact of Prayer … try this at home
  • My Journey into Christianity … why?

Throughout the book, she offers numerous scriptures, examples, and personal experiences so readers will harbor no doubt as to why she left Christianity behind.

The book is very easy reading and I urge every reader/follower of my blog to visit Amazon and click on “Add to Cart.” It’s published in hardcopy and ebook format.

Finding Support When Leaving Christianity

lonely-guyThere are horror stories galore on the internet about the pain, anger, rejection, guilt, grief, loneliness, sadness, anxiety, relational issues … experienced by those who want to or have left their faith.

A husband and wife may find themselves unexpectedly on opposite sides of the faith divide, struggling with what to tell their children. A college student may hide her doubts at home for fear of being cut off emotionally or financially, and then feel like she is living a lie.

Many have been so pushed down they have sought therapy in hopes of putting their lives back together. But for some, this has led to even more suffering. The reason? They chose the wrong therapist.

This is why, when I came across this article, I felt it needed to be shared.

When Your Therapist Tries to Save Your Soul

There is nothing shameful about seeking help when things seem out of control. On the contrary, therapy has, quite literally, saved lives. But when it comes to religious counseling, it’s vitally important to talk with someone who understands the unique challenges you face.

Christianity and Fear

The following is a portion of a blog posting (“What Led Me to Leave Christianity”) that I came across on Left Christianity.

The entire post is worth reading, but I felt this part was especially relevant:

[I] honestly think people choose religion out of fear and then once they’ve latched onto a worldview they only see the evidence that fits that storyline. What are people afraid of? Everything. Death mainly. There is fear that we are alone in the universe, fear of just living with our mistakes without any chance of truly redeeming them. Fear of hell. Fear that has been built into us as children. Fear that is likely wired into us from our early evolutionary beginnings as humans. It’s a scary world – whatever your particular fears might be. Religion holds out a branch and says hold on! We have some solid ground for you and we have almost all of the answers for you! But instead of grabbing onto that branch and all of the baggage that comes along with it – I would urge my readers to look at their fears directly. Realize that some of them are founded in reality (death, catastrophes, loss, loneliness, pain …) but that some aren’t (hell, sin, all of those worries about bad things you think will happen but don’t …). And the best way to face those hard-to-handle things in life is to take a breath, face the reality of what’s in front of you, know you can handle it, and build the life you want in the here and now. And don’t forget to grab onto all that wonderful and awesome stuff that is out in the world while you’re at it! Love, sex, friendship, births, achievements, music, art, nature, conversation, smiles, laughter … they are all out there to enjoy while we’re here!

Brenda writes in detail about her de-conversion here. I urge anyone who is struggling with doubts and/or fears about their Christian experience to read her story.