We have reached the end of this series on why I am a former Christian. This is actually a good place to start reading because at the bottom is a short summary on each post. But first, my concluding thoughts:
I don’t know if everyone else feels the same way, but I need meaning, belonging, and a sense of being at home. This is hard to find, and many people find it in religion. And so, a large part of me does not want to succeed in convincing others I am right, so I generally don’t try. In fact, within the past two months, I’ve met two people who were looking for Christian churches so I gave them some recommendations based on their unique needs.
I still go to church buildings but usually not on Sunday. I end up there because they open their spaces for community groups who are addressing issues I’m interested in working on, and I’ve often found myself working side by side with and learning from deeply religious and nonreligious people.
I have made some great memories with atheist organizations too. For example, a fellow counselor at Camp Quest never had a birthday party because of his former religion, and his family had shunned him for recently leaving their faith, as is their standard. So at the end of camp session, after the campers left, we threw 21 birthday parties for him in one day, all corresponding to different years.
Aside from friends-only Facebook notes, I’ve generally stayed private about my beliefs, but occasionally people are curious, so I wrote this series. Some of my friend’s incomes and support systems depend on them keeping a set of doctrines. As I said in the beginning, I want them to be cautious about what they read in my series.
But if I could launch an insurance company to cover the risk of losing money and resources due to a change in one’s religious beliefs, I would call it:
(Get it, because “lack?”)
Part 1: Former Christian First Principles – Intro, gives a preview of what principles I’m going towards
Part 2: Being, Believing, and feeling like Nacho Libre – I try to define Christianity, and share about how I almost joined a destructive cult when I started college.
Part 3: Listening to God and Bad Pizza – I share my difficulties in trying to become better at hearing God’s voice.
Part 4: Bible Contradiction & Whack-a-mole – I share how trying too hard to harmonize the Bible can rob the reader of the opportunity to see what each author is saying, and I also give my best example of a contradiction within the Bible.
Part 5: Phone Scams, Life, and Slavery – I share about how in some parts of the Bible, God seemed different than the God I knew. Slavery, for example.
Part 6: Noah’s Flood and the Apocalypse – I share why I care about Noah’s flood and the timing on Jesus’ second coming, and give a short argument for why I’ve understood Jesus correctly.
Part 7: The Dance is Ours – If you are believer and a friend of mine do not be discouraged. If you only read one post in the series, make it this one.
Part 8: Shielding myself from Faith – Why I’m convinced I have to protect myself from faith, and why I want other people to protect themselves too. A lot of Christians I’ve talked to agree with most of this post but not the whole thing.