Tuesday, March 27, 2007

new identity

11:03 PM Posted by: M., 6 comments

This past week and weekend I made the decision to stop calling myself a Christian. I am not a Christian. I am a non-Christian. It is hard for me to say it because I am so fearful of Hell and Christianity has been my primary identity for my entire life, but that cannot make me believe. I do not believe in Jesus Christ's divinity and God in the way that Christianity offers. I am not saying that I never will or that I am stopping my search--just I have come to the point where I must be honest and truthful that I am not a believer. Maybe I will become one again soon, maybe later, maybe never.

I didn't document on this blog yet a lot of why I came to this conclusion. Maybe I will spend the next few days doing so, so that I can have a log of how it has happened.

I am still pursuing answers to my questions as fervently as I was before, but what has changed is that I am no longer doing it from a personal Christian perspective. This isn't big news really, but something happened to me this past week and I have been able to get real with how I really am.

It feels both freeing and frightening. I am suddenly so alone as most of the people in my life are Christians. And I know that this is going to put my family in ruins.


HeIsSailing said...

Wow. This is a hard decision on your part. If you are like me, it is an identity you have had most of your life, and it is hard to change that identity (very hard for me - I look to be about twice your age). But I figure that if you don't believe, then there is no point in going through the motions of belieing - God will know your heart regardless.

Through my own reading and all the discussion on my site, I am no longer a Christian in the sense that I was before. No way. But I am taking it slower - The Bible says that we fall away because we love darkness rather than light - sorry, but I have to disagree. Our searching is honest, and we just ain't finding God, or a reason to believe in God. And since I started thinking this way, my life has not become darker, nor have I turned to a life of sin. My life continues on as it has before -

Continue searching, don't take it TOO seriously, and don't be in a rush. I do believe that God, whoever God is, will honor our honesty in our search

JumpingFromConclusions said...


You're being honest, and I don't see how that can be a bad thing. It would probably be hypocritical to still call yourself a Christian. I'm glad you are continuing in your search. Good luck with it! We're still on our searches too!

Dave Lynch said...

Thanks for your honesty, have posted some of it at my blog


Agnosis said...

You're description is very accurate: it's freeing and frightening. The social ramifications are probably the most difficult things to deal with. I must echo heissailing in recommending that you take things slowly. While many of your current social bonds may not be ones you still care to keep, those of family and true friends are indispensible. Allow others to make the decision to break ties or continue in support. Thoughtful deconversion is often a scary thing to those on the other side of the fence, and patient gentleness is usually a good MO in these cases.

Hope your search continues to be helpful. I've enjoyed some of your recent posts and look forward to hearing more of your story.

marie said...

Thanks for the support! I told my best friend last night and she totally is encouraging about it, so I am comfortable with her...

I am temporarily living with my parents, so I am waiting until I move out to tell them--my mom and dad will cry for a week straight, probably scream at me a lot...they will send me to their pastor, his pastor friends, my old pastor, etc. maybe even try to send me away to Colorado Springs (all which I will resist because i am an adult)but still the pain this will inevitably inflict on my parents, siblings and others is SO great. As far as I know, I am the only unbeliever in my extended, extended family--at least the only one who is confident in their unbelief. That is something that I am willing to face--but just not anytime soon.

The hardest part is that until I am ready to tell people, I feel like I have to pretend--this morning I was trying to explain the premise of the book "The God Delusion" to my Christian friend without giving it away yet that I am an unbeliever.

It sucks to feel so alone. To feel like there is a big divider between myself and the people who are supposed to "love" me and who I deeply love. I honestly doubt that my mother could ever love an unbeliever.

I plan to just keep learning, keep reading and figuring things out, trying to keep the friendships I can, making new ones, and then disclosing this to my friends and family when I know it is right.

Ed Lynam said...

There is an aspect of the social dimensions of your choice that really shows the wrongness of how community is perceived in the practice of Christianity in America today. It ought never be a sense of fear that motivates one to call oneself by the label of the group. Perhaps that is partly why Jesus was so negative against the Pharisees, they judged others. I think that it is good for you to cease identifying with a group that uses judgment and any kind of emotionally coercive means to keep you a member. It is no wonder you are questioning that kind of faith. Let me tell you, though, that is not the kind of faith my Jesus teaches me.

My own situation at your age was vice versa: my parents were agnostic/atheist and when I presented my newly found faith from my college days to them, I faced some questioning and even ridicule (only from dad). However, they accepted my choice, and I loved them and they loved me. My father passed away years ago, but my elderly mother is still her agnostic freethinking self. We get along great. There is a misconception among some fundamentalists that nonbelievers are so awful they cannot be loved. If that is your perception of the group you are with, know please that many other Christian groups are far more accepting of those who leave.

Actually, my father's family had remained staunchly Roman Catholic despite his hostility to that church. They continued to love and involve themselves with him all those years, albeit with some rough treatment from him, especially when he had a dozen beers on board!