Why Did I Lose My Religion?

I’ve been struggling with finding a definitive answer to this question for the past year. I assumed that saying I wasn’t a Christian anymore would simply suffice and people would understand, but I must remember that no one has walked this journey except me.

I have no desire to be ones guru or priest so I shy away from this question for fear people will try to emulate me.

A deeper-seated fear though is the fear that all my former “disciples” feel I’ve betrayed them and turned my back on them. Maybe they feel I’ve lied to them.

I suppose what the real problem is is that I’m ridden with anxiety about what others will do with the information. What getting out of religion taught me was that people can be so cruel and harmful with things that are dear to you. It’s best to be very protective of valuable things, trust few and love deeply only when someone has earned it.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation, but I’d like to be able to articulate one at least for myself. As much as I admire and like some very prominent atheists and skepticts, theirs answers don’t show the complexities I feel. They don’t express the great dilemmas I still experience. If an answer is too easy, its not right for me, I’ve learned. Journeys of faith or anti-faith are complex and arduous; winding around personal feelings and musings. The questions, my religious studies professor used to say, are more important than the answers. This is enough for me. May it be enough for you also.

10 thoughts on “Why Did I Lose My Religion?”

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I think your religious studies professor is right – though I’m not the type of person that is ever happy just having questions, I desperately want answers. I think that we are both similar in that respect, I think that’s how both of us in our own ways ended up without faith:  We need answers and aren’t satisfied with the easiest ones.

    I’m learning to appreciate the questions more as I become more and more comfortable with not having faith.  Part of growing I reckon.

    It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here.

  2. I can so relate with everything in this post and I appreciate you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.  You express exactly what I have been feeling since I left a dangerous cult.

  3. About 13 years ago I decided to review all my beliefs and I stayed about 4 years doing it. Layer after layer I went disassembling myself inside.
    So many questions, a hurricane of questions, but some “conclusions” (or at least temporary conclusions) were becoming stronger and stronger, no matter what questions I made trying to break them.
    By the end of those 4 years I was able to define a basis which my feelings, reasoning, instincts, everything I am, could rely on. And since then I’ve been working on that basis, developing it.

    I really don’t know what makes a person enter this way. Maybe closed possibilities, failure in many aspects of life, but still the ability of seeing a light by the end of the tunnel. It’s a “process” that usually can’t be replicated to other people’s lives. But I think that, for the ones who live it, the existence seems to be much more real than it was before it happened.

    There is a danger in seeking this way just for curiosity, or in the hope of finding an extremely valuable reward by the end. Personally I think that someone who really doesn’t need it, gives up in the middle of the way just because the sacrifice will be probably too heavy to carry on.

    As you said, I don’t believe it’s a matter of being a guru or being an example for anyone. It’s, by definition, a personal experience which can’t be repeated by any other person, anyway.

  4. Because of how messed up the religious system really is, many are exiting and have been for a long time.  My husband and I left the system, aware on a very deep level that  the “system” and “God” are two distinctly different entities.  I honestly believe that every person will face that moment when they can no longer ignore the blurring of the lines and will have to make a choice.  It’s important, even in abusive situations, that we not confuse that system with the true, kind, and other-centered God.  (as seen the relationship between the Father – Son and Holy Spirit) That takes time and healing though, because the worst of it is how horribly the heart of God is portrayed and how we end up in guilt, shame and condemnation.  Often we carry that baggage into a mess when we cross the threshold of the church building- and this is easily exploited by manipulative and talented oraters.  I think that one must be absolutely willing to throw everything we think we know about God onto the fire.  He is enough in love with us to persue us and reveal Who He is.  The choice I referred to is either continue on in the way things are- accepting that nagging feeling of loss, that terrifying feeling that some how I’m gonna miss it and end up in hell, and the anxiety that comes from the pressure to make it happen.  It’s crazy!!!!!  So, now, I have one thing.  Jesus.  He is non-negotiable.  The rest is up for grabs.  Truly.  If we don’t first understand His love and experience the freedom to live in it- without fear, then none of the rest of it matters.  I haven’t read my bible in 5 years.  I’m okay with it.  I think God is okay with it too.  He just wants me to know that He loves me and invites me to allow Him to bring me into that relationship, based on Truth.  The Truth being Jesus- a person.  I don’t know anything else.  I may be completely wrong.  But I am more at rest than ever before. 

  5. I can easily sympathize with you on this issue.  Recently, I was asked to write out a 5000-7500 word essay about my deconversion story to contribute to an anthology.  Accepting was one of the best decisions I made.  It helped to sort through all the emotions and personal trauma I endured to get to this point.  Since you are a writer, maybe writing out your meanderings/musings might be an option for you.

    1. I’ve been working on and off on this for years. I’m just not getting where I want with it…yet. It’s so complex and personal, and makes me feel very vulnerable.

  6. I think you would REALLY appreciate Jordan Maxwell – look up astrotheology and Jordan Maxwell – It seems to answer a few insecurities I’ve had with religion & just makes too much sense – I totally know where you are coming from

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