I’m Not a Christian Anymore

In August, 2010, Anne Rice came out and said, “I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-science. I refurse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being a Christian. Amen.”

I couldn’t have agreed more with her decision. For quite a few years, I’ve spent time deconstructing my own faith and came up with a very similar conclusion.

I can no longer call myself a Christian.

Ironically, I think this is a very “Christ-like” decision, since I don’t think modern Christianity represents Christ and the teachings of modern preachers seem to me very unintellectual, simple, and money and power hungry. I think if “Christ came back” he’d say WTF?!

But, I don’t blame the state of the Church on preachers themselves. I think each individual who accepts the teachings of pastors also has some part in the state of the church. Accepting the state of the church as anti-gay, anti-science, anti-feminist is something I did for years. I became a reverend in that state. I didn’t question the under educated pastors who were passing on terminology and ideas that hadn’t been well-thought out or deconstructed. They hadn’t been doubted by them, or criticized. They just slopped it into my bowl and I drank from it.

I resigned from being a reverend in 2003. I still continued to do ministry until 2005, and there I started attending college. A secular college. The deconstruction of my faith came during my college years, but not necessarily because of them. Immediately after leaving my cult, the slop just tasted terrible. I started recognizing that most of it was b.s. and I’d questioned it BEFORE Master’s Commission, and needed to revert back to that time before I entered into a mind-control environment. It was hard to get in touch with who I was before Master’s and the ministry, but I did it. I found a girl who was guilt-free, lacked a constant condemnation, and thought a lot about everything. That girl was normal (for the most part), listened to secular music, watched Rated R movies, and read all kinds of different books. I resumed my life there.

I’m not a Christian anymore. I didn’t lose my faith. I decided to get rid of it.

My faith was cumbersome to my personal growth, to my well-being as a human being, and to my desire to be a compassionate person who loved the world as it is.

I was wrapped up in fundamentalism for years. Someone said:

“Fundamentalism is a form of organised anger in reaction to the unsettling consequences of rapid social and religious change.”

I don’t believe fundamentalism is representative of all Christianity or all Christians, but what I believe doesn’t coincide with either belief system.

What I believe now is that there is no heaven or hell. Those are scare tactics taught to us by pastors around the world to pressure us into a relationship with God. Sometimes this is for their own “number game.” Sometimes it’s so that they can say their church is growing and the Holy Spirit is moving. Sometimes it’s for the perpetuation of something they learned was “right” and just kept doing without questioning whether it was right or godly or not.

I believe the Bible is not inerrant. It’s complicated. It’s a historical document, filled with interesting stories and myths. Did God create Eve out of Adam’s rib? Probably not. In fact, that’s the exact type of thing I’m talking about. That myth perpetuates the idea that Eve is less than Adam. She also tempted Adam and caused them to get kicked out of the Garden. Those early Genesis teachings are anti-women and reinstate patriarchal power structures that are harmful to male and female alike.

The Bible is also filled with the promotion of slavery, more oppressive language toward women, gays, and it can be a dangerous tool in the hands of fundamentalist Christians inciting violence and war rhetoric (the “army of the Lord” fighting against the “ungodly”).

I don’t believe America is or should be a Christian nation. First, there are a lot of Christians who disagree on things such as abortion, gun control, the environment, etc. I believe the United States is a nation of Jews, Muslims, and multiple other religions, ideologies, and beliefs. America also contains a group of citizens who are anti-theist, atheist who are not “heathens” or “evil” or even wrong. They’re human beings. They’re not going to die and call out to God on their death bed. They’re satisfied with their lives.

I respect science and scientists. I believe evolution is more plausible than any of the other theories of why we exist today. I think it’s necessary to learn and educate ourselves about how we’ve evolved as a biological being and anthropologically.

I believe that women are not sub-human to men. We don’t need to submit. We are not superior, but equal to men. I disagree with men and women who oppress women using the Bible, political and cultural ideologies, etc. This use of the Bible to promote the “gentle-spirited” woman is harmful for women; it doesn’t consider us individuals capable of being wild; and it’s oppressive to men, promoting the idea of a “manly man” as the only ideal of a godly man. These teachings (explicit and implied) harm people’s confidence in themselves, pervert individual traits, and control sex and gender roles.

On that note, I’m strongly against patriarchal religion. I don’t believe that God or gods are a Father. I don’t think God is a Him, and this language and idea oppresses women and men.

I share all of this with you because I’m ready to come out as Anne Rice did. I’m tired of putting on pretenses that I am someone I’m not. I’m proud of how I’ve evolved into the woman I am today, the relationships I have with people who support me (and a pretty awesome family who loves me through all of this) and like me for who I am rather than what I believe or don’t believe. I’m also really excited about drafting the plans to my own life, following some and discarding others based on what I think is right, not what someone tells me is right (or God’s voice). My life has become a journey filled with heartache, and pain, growth and critical thinking, and embracing the wild and exciting part of myself.

I’m happy with my quirkiness, my ability to make people laugh, and the unique way I form a thought, feel things deeply, and care about people.

I like me.

Now, for blogging sake, these opinions don’t mean this is a non-Christian blog or that non-Christians aren’t welcome. To the contrary, actually. I was a Christian, and who I was then formed part of my history.  I understand that Christianity is very important to most of my readers and I hope to provide resources and educational materials for those who desire to grow as Christians after exiting a cultish or destructive group. However, those who are non-religious or atheist are welcome and I will provide resources for growth likewise.

Lastly, in the style of Reddit, please feel free to ASK ME ANYTHING.

Comments may be moderated if the comment policy is not followed.

 

29 thoughts on “I’m Not a Christian Anymore”

  1. Great post. Apart from never having been a pastor, I feel like I could have said everything in this post about myself. This is what evangelicals who fret about passing the faith on to their children should be reading, not tendentious, unsubstantiated arguments about how “feel-good” religion is making kids not take Christianity seriously. If you want to understand why people leave the church, ask people who left the church. I can guarantee you that most if not all ex-evangelicals and/or ex-fundamentalists will not say the problem was that they weren’t taught enough theology or that their churches weren’t exclusive enough.

  2. Hi Lisa,

    BTW, thanks for doing whatever you did so that I can see the latest posts of yours.

    Personally I think it is a sad thing that you feel obliged to say you are not a Christian anymore. But I do support your right to say it of yourself as Anne Rice did.

    I think that many of the things you believe are along the lines of some of the things that I believe, and while considering myself as being a person who values the scriptures highly. Even Christ himself said that there would be people who thought they did mighty and spiritual things of whom he would say, “I know you not.” So while some may view you saying, “I think if “Christ came back” he’d say WTF?!” as an anti-Christian sentiment I find it to be true enough to limit my response to a simple HHhhmmm. I must admit that my curiosity centers around exploring what you really think as to the verity of the prophecy that Christ will come back but along with that let me also see no valid reason to attack or insult you however my curiosity might be sated.

    1. Jeff,
      I guess I had set that post to a future publication date without realizing until you mentioned it to me. Thx for that!
      We do have some very similar beliefs.

      I don’t believe Christ will be returning. Ever. I think, for me, I just am not a Christian. I don’t partake in the things I used to (as far as beliefs go) and consider some of them to simply stand as myths. However, these are just my private beliefs and I’m simply sharing because it may or may not help those who’ve left a group like mine to hear what it’s like to choose not to be a Christian.

  3. Thanks for sharing so honestly, Lisa. While I haven’t left Christ, I have also recently left “Christianity.” I totally understand where you are coming from and affirm with you that rejecting anti-women, anti-gay, anti-knowledge tactics that are used to control and manipulate is a very Christ-like thing to do. 🙂

  4. “Fundamentalism is a form of organized anger in reaction to the unsettling consequences of rapid social and religious change.”

    I like this quote.

    thoughtless submission fueled by fear led to a mob shouting crucify him…

  5. I went through a phase (not saying this is a phase for you, it simply was for me) right before my deconversion really started to hit where I made a very similar statement to yours above. I refused to be called a Christian and to be bundled in with the awful inventions and people that are most renowned in the Christian faith…

    So…one day I told everybody I knew that I could no longer be considered a Christian…and the word I used to describe myself on that day and for about a year after was simply – Xtian.

    It was an important step for me to separate myself from the multitude…I was a believer, but I not only believed the lies of Christianity – I lived them…that’s what set me apart from most believers. I lived the life prescribed for me in the Bible and the Great Commission – and further more, my personal god (once the Bible began losing it’s impact, or grasp on me).

    Again, I say congratulations – keep moving forward. Love yourself, love people, and love to learn…beyond that there isn’t much that could be asked of us is there?

  6. I found this through the FBN facebook page and I am so happy I did! What a great post about your beliefs. I agree with some of the other commenters, sad that you had to do this but on the other hand, I think we all need to write down what our beliefs are. If don’t or can’t really write them down, then maybe we need to dig deeper. I love your zest for life! Keep it up!! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Cameo R,
      Thanks so much for the kind words! It’s difficult to process and articulate our beliefs sometimes, especially when they involve “lack” of beliefs.
      Lisa

  7. At issue here is, “who is a Christian?” and that defination is legion from those who were raised in a “Christian Country” such as France, but do not officially practice the faith to the riotious, fire-breathing fundamentalist found on your local street corner.

    My thought is it really does not matter in the larger picture except for those individuals who have created for themselves a mental offin of sorts and are just waiting for the internal decay to end the turmoil.

    Kudos to Ann Rice for her very public statement. Most likely Ann is more “Christ-like” than those who find fault with her words. They wanted HER to be on THIER side and now she switched!

  8. The reason Christianity has lost its ability to retain believers in Y’shua’s Way is because leaven has completely saturated the lump and the lump has thus been elevated higher than Y’shua. Prosperity gospel, replacement theology, etc have resulted in what is known as serving two masters. Christianity does a good job of attracting but a really bad job of maintaining. It fails to recognise that, in order to be part of the ‘bride of Christ’ being gathered, it has to die to itself and follow where the Ruach (Holy Spirit) is leading. (It would be bad for business) The true remnant that is leaving Egypt is aware that the twelve tribes of Israel will be reconstituted soon as the house of Jacob (Israel) just as in the beginning (Torah) in the desert. There will be no gentile gate in the new Jerusalem. The wild olive branch (gentiles) must be grafted into the true olive tree (Israel).
    John Barleycorn must die.
    shalom

  9. U lost ur way in self u have made ur self depart from the state of grace god had u at so u know at one time u knew christ don’t let the enemy teach u self is the creator of life can u honestly say there is no god if so how did u me an man exist an even in all science studies which study has defeated death an rose on the third day with power to give us to tyeach us how to become perfect in him so we can be the true designed plan god had designed for us no dying life eternally no right or left just life. The tree of life knowledge has convinced many they r god SELF I pray for them can u bring everyone back from the grave can u give miracles in ur name no I doubt it bit in jesus his power the holyghost u can by faith pray a sick child to health an so on in jesus name an holyghost power whoever u r go back to ur first love in christ go back from where u fell into self he has better ministry for u in him not ur self love yah embrace ur grace in jesus again on sending hope to the lost people of god which is they believe n self not good self can’t heal deliver nor feed the world nor make it rain nor snow nor earthquakes etc scienctist can’t even predict god nor be god if they could we all would be scientist playing god they only seek out knowledge an wisdom like the next an Hope they right ha ha in which u an I know they b wrong love yah trust jesus trust god not self it only can take u so far psalms 38:10 if u choose not to care about life after then understandable u content with where u may end up an well where is that I’m curious if u have the REAL self made answer to know an I guess all those who believe u r going too where is dis place is it dark or is it light in jesus or is it a light u wanna make up forurself convincing urself u know better than jesus GOd the father the son holyghost I pray for u all in jesus name cause we know not what we do

    1. An the strange thing. Is that if u really read ur page u really r a child of god just denying his power thereof just admit u love an u hate an u hope an pray an u need the want to be loved beyond what u feel n this world alone ecah day its confession that simply divides us from gods pure love confess an get it overwith already from ur heart jesus paid that much for u to give him ur soul an heart not a long speech of doubt we all been there those who still n doubt which is 60 percent of the people of the world do the math I’m horrible at it n some areas when I be lazy like now an count the tribes an how many there will be who kept to the faith in christ an obeyed his word 144000 each tribe 12 of them do u doubt jesus life eternally cause of no patience an faith to stick it out goodness lazy is keepn a lot of people from god I guess me an u both need to step it up n jesus lord forgive us for our sins an create in me an her a clean heart an to do ur will with power in u jesus an not give up or succumb to lazyness an selfteachings to talk us out our calling to minister hope. Thank god amen Restore in jesus name our purpose in u lord lest we all be tempted an led astray in bull thank god amen see that easy god forgives us love u have a good one now I can go n peace I love my sistas in christ amen

  10. Thanks Lisa. I can agree with almost everything you say.

    I stopped calling myself a “Christian” while I was still a christian. To me, in Western culture today the term has connotations of “anti-intellectual, homophobic, dogmatic, boring, bigot.” That didn’t describe me or my faith, so I decided to drop it.

    Now I’ve dropped my faith as well as the term, and have various stories to tell about that (eg http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/the-crowd-of-unknowing/ )

    I’m not quite clear from this post whether you’ve dropped your spiritual beliefs as well as the institution of Christianity. I think many people still carry on as some kind of vague “Jesus believer” even though they don’t identify as Christian any more.

    Thanks,

    Jonathan from Spritzophrenia

    1. Jonathan,
      I think we may have had similar reasons for dropping Christianity. I didn’t want to associate myself with those things you listed, and couldn’t anymore.

      As far as spiritual beliefs, I’m not sure where I stand on that yet. That may take a few more months or years to evolve. 🙂 I used to love going outside to be in nature and connecting spiritually with God. I don’t really feel I’m connecting spiritually with a being anymore, but I do feel more connected to myself and I still appreciate nature.

      I think what I do believe that may be different from some people, is that life (for me) is an open journey of seeking and questioning and constantly learning. I’m still a doubter, a critic and a thinker, and I hope I am always one. I think the questions are more important than the black and white answers. Perhaps many people think that way.

      For me, it was just a huge step to come out openly as discarding my old belief system. I felt I was finally ready to make a public statement to the several hundred people who knew me in ministry; knew me as a zealous lover of God. I’m no longer that person and a public statement felt appropriate.
      Lisa

      1. For me it was a quiet thing – although I was heavily involved in ministry, I wasn’t formally ordained. My leaving also coincided with my divorce, which in turn took me out of my usual church. It probably took me 10 years to go from committed Christian to friendly agnostic.

        I didn’t really have to “come out”, although my blog is that to an extent. In some ways it’s been more embarassing for me to admit my interest in spiritual things to my non-Christian friends, as often that sort of thing can look “weird”. (To people who believe in astrology, tarot and reincarnation! 😉 )

        Jonathan from Spritzophrenia

        1. Jonathan,
          Was divorce looked down upon by your church or denomination? It’s largely looked down upon here, which seems (to me) to be a very archaic way of judging someone’s spirituality or devotion to God/church.

          Do you find your blog readers mostly open minded, or are there some close-minded, set in their ways types?

          I think I’ve found in talking to some people, they’re not interested in talking about the possibility of having a spiritual interest in life. I’m not always “spiritual” but there are some things I will probably always be interested in, and others that I’ve discarded.
          Lisa

  11. I strongly agree with your blog. Over the past few months I have been feeling similar emotions about my faith. I feel I have “christian morals” but I don’t feel like a christian. I enjoy reading the bible, but I do not agree with many topics such as the ones you listed. Real christians live by the bible and I cannot. I am hesitant to express my emotions to others. I believe it’s to avoid arguments that will never be solved. Your story moved me, thank you.

  12.  I used to be a christian but not really a praticing one, but when i came out as Homosexual the first person to make me feel like i was less than human was a Extremly devout( physco) Christian i didnt even know her and she made me feel worthless as a person. So i decieded frin there  that i am not christian and refuse to be affilated with them. I try not to be anti- christian but when people start talking about how ” the lord saves all and obey thy heavenly father” i have to bite my tounge.

  13. Please can you tell me if Jesus is God? Father Son Holy Spirit is titles. N/T talks about Jesus as Yeshua and God.

  14. Congratulations on reaching these insights. You’re right, Hell and Heaven are scare tactics (and false hope) which have been developed to manipulate people, and they can be very effective.

    I think you’ll find reality-based life bracing, and eventually feel that, in leaving Christianity, you cast off a heavy burden.

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