Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why Someone Walked Away From "Christianity"

My blogger friend, Hagere posted a link to an interesting article from a guy, theBEattitude who wrote about why and how it was a relief that he gave up being a Christian.

You can click here to read his article and the over 1,000 comments it generated but I have reproduced his article below for your convenience:

I was planning to write up a detailed story about my Christian life and the recent rejection of my faith. But my goal is not to build a case to prove I believed in God or to demonstrate how good of a Christian I was. I did truly believe in God for most of my life and worshiped and prayed to him daily. I believed he was at work in my life at all times and using me to touch other people’s lives.

So you might be wondering what changed.

The change was a culmination of things that I could no longer ignore. Faith is belief in the unseen and unprovable, but still requires a foundation for that faith. With the countless religions of the world, I began to question why the god of the Bible is more believable than all other gods worshiped on earth. With the mountain of evidence staring me in the face, my faith began to die.

Last fall, I finally moved past guilt and admitted to myself that I no longer believe in Jesus or the god of the Bible. Surprisingly it was a relief. Not because I wanted to run wild and sin freely, but because I no longer felt the weight a Christian carries. The weight of guilt, unworthiness and fear of god’s judgement. I continue to spend my days striving to be a good husband, father and son. I help others in need around me as often as I can. The big difference is I do these things today because it brings me joy, not because I believe it brings an imaginary god joy.

For those wondering, here is a condensed “Top 20 List” of the things that led to my rejection of Christianity.

1. God is wrathful, jealous, hateful, and kills nations of people like it is a bodily function. He is certainly not just or “holy” in nature.

2. The act of throwing people into infinite torture and punishment for not believing a Jewish guy from 2,000 years ago was God’s son, or unknowingly worshiping the wrong god, is extremely cruel and sadistic.

3. The statements, “God works in mysterious ways,” or “It will all make sense in heaven,” are little more than irrational cop outs. This God allows horrible atrocities to be committed against innocent men, women and children every day.

4. Bloody animal and human sacrifices are illogical demands by a divine god as payment for petty wrong doings. These actions are no different than the rituals of archaic pagan religions. Not to mention the bizarre ritual of symbolically drinking human blood and eating human flesh.

5. If God loves us and wants us to know and believe in him, why be so completely invisible? What is the purpose of being so illusive to those who believe and worship him?

6. God never manifests himself or performs miracles as he regularly did for the Israelites in Old Testament stories.

7. Prayers are never answered. Certainly not in the way Jesus described. Prayer has absolutely no affect on the world around us.

8. Jesus did not fulfill major Old Testament prophesies or even fulfill his own promises and predictions.

9. The authors of much of the Bible are unknown. And of these unknown authors, the men who wrote the gospels likely never even met Jesus considering they were written 40-70 years after his death. A far cry from reliable testimony.

10. The Bible is repeatedly contradictory with itself, reality, and the laws of morality. Couldn’t God inspire a less poorly written book?

11. The Bible is open to interpretation. Everyone interprets it in the way that suits them best or serves their purposes.

12. Throughout history, Christians have justified horrific actions by the Bible and its teaching.

13. The Bible promotes hate and persecution against women, homosexuals and those who worship other gods or no god at all.

14. According to the Bible, nearly 70% percent of the people in the world will burn in hell because they don’t believe Jesus was the son of God.

15. The only reason I was a Christian was because I was indoctrinated into the religion as a child as a result of the culture and region of the world in which I was born.

16. Christianity has no more rational or factual foundation than any other religion on earth that I openly reject.

17. The Christian church is disjointed and can’t even agree with one another.

18. Christians are not at all ethically or morally different from non-Christians.

19. Today, powerful church leaders steal, lie and molest young children. The church repeatedly attempts to cover up these atrocities, only to reluctantly apologize as a last resort.

20. It is absolutely irrational to continue to believe archaic teaching with the amount of knowledge we’ve gained through science and technology. The Bible reads like a book of primitive folklore, not divinely inspired insight into our true reason for existence.

I feel sad for this guy. It seems that he had already made up his mind to give up on Christianity because he "felt the weight a Christian carries. The weight of guilt, unworthiness and fear of god’s judgement." The 20 "reasons" were like an afterthought, excuses that he can use to justify the decision he had already taken.

However, I think this brother is not alone in thinking this way and certainly not the first to have given up on "Christianity". This is because he and many others like him have not heard the true gospel, the gospel of grace. Like this brother, I had been a Christian for more than 30 years, and I may have followed him down the same road if I had not attended New Creation Church almost six years ago and listened to the gospel preached by Pastor Prince.

What this brother is giving up is "churchianity", not Christianity. The Church needs a gospel revolution and praise God for Pastor Prince and other preachers like Andrew Wommack, Paul White, etc who are doing their part to spread the grace gospel.


william said...

Do you think he is still saved?

Stanley Wong said...

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)

If he did what Rom 10:9 says, he is saved. Sometimes, in our frustration with our seemingly unresolved problems or like this bro, the weight of trying to get right with God (even though in actual fact we are already right with God in Christ), we simply just give up and "renounce" Christianity BUT God doesn't give up, and eventually He will lead us to enjoy this abundant life that He has already given us.

John 10:27-30
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

Malcolm Loh said...

Poor guy. The devil has deceived him into thinking that God is the one behind all the confusion, when in reality, he is the one behind it...

Maybe we should send him a copy of Ps Prince's sermon about "Condemnation kills" so that he can be liberated.

william said...

One thing I've learn is to let go and let Him. Only when we let go we are led by the Spirit. But the trouble with men is can not let go. It is indeed simple and yet so hard. Malcolm is right... send him a grace message. Amen.

Angie said...

Amen! It's sad but condemnation really kills & Grace really gives life, a life to the fullest that is!

On a side note: Stan, i like the new feature that lists related articles by categories. It's so helpful! The other day i was searching for your testimony on JC days taking accounts but can't find it. But what I found was the post "dun speak the language of the devil". it was so apt for me that time & a blessing reading it again. :) God is good all the time lor! ;D

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Angie,

I also cannot remember when and where I wrote that testimony :-p ... but thank God He can use technology too to bless ;-)

Daughter Of Sarah said...


I felt so sad reading this article bro. I know many who think like him... and one of them was my best friend of 16 years.

His descend into darkness started when we were in Sec School and he told me he felt like the devil was pulling him into the darkness. For that reason, we were esp close because I tried to share my hope in Christ with him. I think no matter how depressed I was, I had sight of the faintest flicker of hope.

He grew more cynical over the years and still I stuck by him. He said the most cutting things but I saw the fear and the heaviness in his eyes.

You know he thinks God sent all the troubles on his life - the broken family, the myriad illnesses (he recently was hospitalised coz his blood refused to clot. The doc still dunno why)... He's had a lot of troubles and like many people w/o revelation, he blames it ALL on Abba Daddy.

The worse thing was the devil cut all ties i've had with him recently. And it had to do with the taiwanese media friend i am helping with also. U know la how the devil can manipulate circumstances and even closed ones so that trouble arises. I will never blame my taiwanese media friend for the prob coz it was not her fault. But there was backstabbing and all sorts of crap and what little spark of friendship we had left, was smothered.

Despite messaging him, he does not reply. He replies Ian but not me. He deletes any comment i make on his FB page. It was so hurtful and I cried a lot last week about it. I was worried about his condition and wanted to talk to him but he cut me off clean. But I realised that it was an attack from the devil and I realised also that at the end of the day God reigns. He might cut me off but I can still pray for him, hope for him, take communion for him. So that's what Ian and I have been doing.

I will never forget the fear in his voice whenever he called me when he had spritiual attacks and horrible dreams in the past. U know he has somnambulism . He sleep walks, sleep talks, sleep animates 3D... so once he had a horrific dream and he called me up and asked me to pray for him. I was shocked beccause he derides Christ most of the time. But I did and he asked me why he had the dream. I said I dunno but I can pray and seek God's answer. And you know I opened the bible to a passage in Isaiah where God declared Himself sovereign and said that even though my friend does not believe him, He will still use him for His glory. =) And He was asking him to return to Him. He said thanks after a while and put down.

2 years later, I found out he had no recollection of what happened and that meant he had called me in his sleep. It meant deep inside him was a desire to be protected by God again, to dwell in Him again. Yet he actively tries to push him away in his wakefulness. I felt hope and sadness all at once.

I still hope and I still pray for him - that he will turn back soon. I am not sure if he is saved because of the Catholic church connection. He was a Catholic like me. But I trust that God can and is making a way for my friend right now, no matter how hopeless the situation seems. Amen?

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Geri,

Amen! Keep standing on God's Word and continue to pray for him cos the battle is not ours but the Lord's:

"My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:29-30)