In your deconversion story on your blog, you wrote about finding out that the resurrection probably didn’t bodily happen: “I was broken-hearted, but….” How did you deal with that? Your essay basically ends on a cliffhanger, effectively, where you decide that it didn’t happen.
I am currently at the point in my own life…where to go from there.
I was initially devastated when I lost my Christian faith. Ever since I started attending an LCMS church in approximately 2011, my conservative Lutheran Christian faith had become the focus of my life. So when I saw my faith begin to slowly circle the drain in the winter and spring of 2014, I panicked. I reached out to numerous Christian pastors to essentially “rescue” me. But it was too late. By June of that year, my faith was dead.
“What do I do now?” I thought. The foundation of my life no longer existed. What was the purpose of life? Was death the end? I had always had the comfort of knowing that whatever happened, Jesus would be with me. Now I was all alone. It was scary.
That went on for a couple of distressing weeks, then I calmed down.
Things became much clearer once my belief in the supernatural no longer existed. First of all, I had to face the loss of my invisible, all-powerful, all-knowing friend and “bodyguard”—the loving, faithful Jesus—and this realization helped me do that: What good is it to have an all-powerful bodyguard if he doesn’t really protect you?
Christianity doesn’t teach that Jesus will protect you from harm, only that he will comfort you during the process. Think about that…practically. Imagine hiring a bodyguard to protect you and your family, but in the fine print of your contract with him, there is a clause that says that he is not obligated to actually protect you from getting harmed, he just guarantees that he will be there during your beating, and comfort you while you are having the crap knocked out of you!
What good is that? Answer: none. It is of no comfort to me to know that Jesus, the all-powerful Ruler of the Universe, just let me get the crap beaten out of me and he didn’t find it in his “will” to lift a finger to protect me. I don’t need that kind of bodyguard…or friend.
So what’s left? Answer: Jesus the “Decider” regarding my destiny for all eternity.
Basically, Christianity tells us that even though Jesus will let us get our clocks cleaned, and he won’t lift a hand, we must stick with him or he will toss us into his pre-fabricated torture pit for all eternity, or if you believe the moderate Christians, he will make us spend eternity without him causing us great “psychological” pain, or just sit us in a dark room for all eternity. None of it sounds good.
But during my four months of wrestling with the claims of Christianity; for the first time really investigating the claims made in the Bible and by my Church; I discovered that Hell is an invention of the ancient Egyptians, adapted into Greek theology, which was then adapted into Jewish theology during the Greek occupation of Palestine, which was then adapted into early Christian theology…I was no longer in need of an invisible bodyguard/friend or the other Jesus: the “Decider” or “Lord” Jesus. I didn’t need Jesus as a friend and I wasn’t afraid of Jesus the “Lord” anymore.
I could face life myself.
Think about this: As a Christian I had to fear three causes of my getting hurt or killed:
1. Random chance.
2. My stupidity or carelessness.
3. God’s will.
Now that I no longer believe that Yahweh/Jesus Christ exist, I can reduce my causes of getting hurt or killed to only two:
1. Random chance.
2. My stupidity or carelessness.
Do you remember the story of Job in the Bible? Job lost everything, including his family. And do you know which of the three causes caused his misery? Answer: “God’s will.” And if you read the Book of Job, why was it God’s will to kill Job’s family and practically destroy the poor man? Answer: to win a bet with the Devil! What nonsense! No good, just, loving God would do that to someone!
And what about eternity?
Have you ever thought of this? What does the Bible say we will be doing in heaven? Answer: Singing praises to Yahweh/Jesus…forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever…. ! Sorry, but I can take just so much of the “Gospel Hour”. If given the option of spending all eternity singing “How Great Thou Art” and being dead, I’ll take being dead!
So now I enjoy every minute of every day. I appreciate my family and friends. I enjoy the here and now. I don’t sit around and pine for the “sweet by and by”.
My peace of mind is much greater as a non-believer than when I was a believer. Once you get to the point that you realize that there are no invisible ghosts, gods, and ghouls whirling around your head, trying to control your “soul”, and no heaven or hell, it is much easier to deal with reality.
So what would I suggest to get you through the deconversion process? Here is my advice:
Read the blogs and books of former believers; people like you who have come to the realization that the supernatural claims of the Bible are no more probable than the existence of leprechauns, unicorns, and fairies. Talk to other former believers. Be part of our community. There is comfort and support waiting for you. Check out the list of blogs to the right on my blog page for resources. Best wishes, friend!