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5:4 Stories of De-Conversion

Independent thoughts

Janis - Florida

Your life as a Christian:
I attended Sunday School regularly up until the time I was about 12 years old. Perfect attendance a few years. My parents didn't attend, but took my sister and me if we asked. I also attended Presbyterian Church on a regular basis into my teens. We didn't discuss religion at home, but there was a belief in "god". As a young adult, I toyed with the idea of becoming a minister, and was baptized as a Methodist in 1992.

What Jesus and being a Christian meant to you:
I accepted what I was told, blindly as a child does, like the existence of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

Why you left Christianity behind:
Although I called myself "Christian", I don't ever remember a time I didn't question the existence of god. I was a severely abused child, and I wondered what I had done that was so wrong that god would let me be punished so severely. I was a child, beaten until bones were broken, mentally and verbally abused until suicide was a constant thought, but I was afraid of going to hell. I now realize I was already there. I couldn't help but wonder how someone so vicious could be so loved. All the wrong in the world, if there was a god, why did he let it happen? Bad things happened to good people every day, and good things to bad people. How could god let that happen? I also had to learn to think for myself. All the abusive years I spent growing up, I wasn't allowed to have independent thoughts. I was told, "If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you." Once I started to think for myself I realized that everything I thought I knew about religion made no sense.

How your life has changed since you de-converted from Christianity:
I have told my family that I no longer have Christian religious beliefs, and that I am studying different beliefs, (which I am, even to this day). I will tell people I am Pagan if pressed for an answer about my "religion", but mainly I believe that you need to live your life being the best person you can be, live each day to the fullest, and treat people the way you want them to treat you. I no longer fear a judgement, or hell. I lived in hell, I walked through those "fires" and I came through a better stronger person. No after life could be worse than what I have already been through. I have 5 children, I'm raising them to be free thinkers. One is a self proclaimed "Christian", but the younger 4 so far have managed to stay away from that label. If they want to read the bible, I'll give them a copy, same for any religious text, but I encourage them to find their own answers and not look to a higher power for a solution.

What your views are towards Jesus & Christianity now:
Honestly, I think most Christians are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. I feel sorry for most of them, but I don't bash their beliefs. I chose to believe what I do, their beliefs are their own (even if I snicker occasionally behind their backs). If everyone would just be accepting of each other like "Christians" are supposed to do, this world would be a much better place to live in.

Are you grateful that you de-converted? Why?
I enjoy living without the guilt of "sin" and the threat of hell looming over me. I just try to live a good life, not do anything I'll regret, and treat others fairly.