When someone leaves Christianity, why are other Christians so quick to blame them or the church?

I recently had a discussion with a Christian via YouTube PMs, and while she was very nice, she had one little flaw. She had to blame me/my family/the church for my leaving Christianity. She insinuated that our entire doctrine was faulty, that I had been forced into Christianity, and that I had never felt Jesus or God in my life. She said that she believed that I was a "false convert because of all the early influence & pressure to 'be a Christian'". Before I wrote to her with my entire life story, she also insinuated that I was angry at God for messing something up in my life.

Why?

If the people of my church had heard from this woman, they would have called her a false convert. "Draw nigh unto God," they would say, "and he will draw nigh unto you" -- which sounds nothing like her "you don't go to God, he comes to you" philosophy. "You worship a false spirit," they would say. She thinks of me as a child, but they would see her as a child, hopelessly stuck in a romantic fantasy of what she wants Christianity to be.

Though my years are less than hers, she has no right to assume that I have not "felt Christ" or that I do not know what Christianity is really about. The fact is, I was somewhat of a spiritual prodigy as a Christian. I began feeling God's presence at about the age of eleven. At fourteen I felt that I was ready to be baptised. The whole time I was losing my faith, I prayed to God, begging for him to contact me and restore my faith or show me where I was to go next. That was the first time that I had begged God for help and found him to be absent.

Forget for the moment that I am nineteen years old and was raised in a Christian home. I was a believing Christian for fifteen years. Don't you think that's enough experience?

Views: 3

Tags: Christianity, deconversion, hypocrisy

Comment by Cara Coleen on April 26, 2009 at 5:22pm
I know exactly how you feel... but I'm 26. My grandfathers are both preachers and I was in the church my entire life until I was 24. I experienced everything firsthand and spent 3 years in Nashville, on my own", "getting closer to God". My family has forgotten this; somehow, they think I haven't heard all of it before. It's really insulting for a stranger to make assumptions, but when people that KNOW you suddenly forget who you were and, ultimately, who you ARE ... that's... something different.

I had the same type of prayer to God... "lead me back" or "show me the truth". Well, I did come into the truth... it just ended up being the opposite of what I expected.

To answer your question: yes. Fifteen years is more than enough experience.
Comment by Megan Latta on May 2, 2009 at 1:32pm
The truth will set you free. Freedom to think is a beautiful thing.

Fundamentally your friend has no reason, and will not until she gets rid of her faith. I think the christians that turn on us and "forget" who we are do so because they never really knew who you were and don't know who they are either. They find their identity in a supernatural fairy-tale and do not even have the opportunity to find their own real identity because they are not free to search for it without the fear of damnation. Everything is god's will and not their own.

My experience was a bit different and I am thankful for it. While I too grew up in the church and was a very spiritual and religious person (until 7 years ago @ age 19 too), I stopped going to church and figured out who my real friends were while discovering the truth that there is no god. So I had good solid people surrounding me (one being my hubby) who would only question me in a positive thoughtful way. My family (and I'm Italian-so there's a ton of em') are all very religious people and its frustrating to talk to them but I am now at the point where I am glad to let them know about my lack of belief and strength in reason. Its hard and sometimes I fail to stand up for myself and all of my fellow atheists but its getting easier with the support that I have and continue to find here. I am glad that you are a part of this site because it will hopefully provide you with some good friends. I have been LOVING getting to know all these like minded people. :)

Still in Nashville CaraColeen? I was there for 2 years...I hated it and now Im in Denver :) best place in the US!

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