I was raised a fundamentalist Christian. And I ate it up. I experienced manifestations of the Spirit early and often in my life. Those emotional experiences persuaded me to believe the claims of my church — that Jesus died for me, that the (KJV) Bible was inerrant, and that people who believed like us were save and everyone else was damned.
The emotional component confirmed everything I was fed. I believed that archeology proved the Bible, that hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled by Jesus, that we were living in the End Times and Jesus’ return was just around the corner, à la The Late Great Planet Earth.
I heard many arguments against the Bible, Christianity, and gods in general. But I was predisposed to believe the apologetics over the obviously misguided lost souls who fought the true church.
The first major blow to my faith (although I didn’t know it at the time) was my marrying into a predominately Mormon family. The attempts at converting me began immediately. As I do with everything, I threw myself into discovering Mormonism, reading their scripture; books, articles, and speeches by their prophets; and talking to scholars. My new in-laws were well connected and I found myself meeting and speaking with Mormon prophets, apostles and seventy. Often at family reunions, weddings, funerals, etc.
I satisfied myself that Mormonism was bunk. But things nagged at me forever since. The Mormons experienced the Spirit. Their main sales pitch is to get potential converts to read their scriptures and pray for the Spirit. They read, studied and taught from the Bible (as well as their own scriptures). They often interpreted it the same as I had been taught, but in other areas very differently. And I was honest enough to admit that their interpretations were every bit as consistent and valid as ours were.
It was the emotional conflict with gay rights that broke through the wall for me. Perhaps, if I had been raised in a more liberal Christianity, this moment wouldn’t have come. But my Christianity was black and white. There were no metaphors or analogies in Scripture. Just the plain Word of God.
Once the break came, I feverously went though everything I ever had be taught to believe. I suppose I was looking for justification for rebelling on this one issue. Searching to show: all this I believe so rejecting this one thing is justified.
Instead I realized I had been kidding myself. The apologetics were shit. The evidence was thin or nonexistent. I realized that my one true interpretation of God’s true word was as precarious as any other. It wasn’t long before I went from “I can’t prove my version of Christianity” to “I can’t prove Christianity” to “I can’t prove God.”
It literally was just a matter of a few days. Perhaps because I had studied these things my whole life. I didn’t have to go looking for the arguments. I’d heard and read them all. And all were corroborated by faith. Until suddenly they weren’t. They never had been. It had all been an emotional high with no foundation in reality.
So my deconversion came slowly, with careful study over decades. Then suddenly, all at once.
Today I’m embarrassed that I read the Bible when my friends didn’t, I studied apologetics’s when friends didn’t, and still it took me so long to see through the lies and deceptions to see the fable underneath for what it is.
Posted by permission of “Koseighty”; his above comment originally posted on Debunking Christianity Blog