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Thursday, June 16, 2005

X-Christians Speak Out

Church2 Found an interesting site this morning... their by-line is "Encouraging Ex-Christians"... it is totally dedicated to the experiences of "Ex-Christians"; people who have left Christianity or are full of doubts about the truth that Christianity holds. Here are a couple of quick pulls from the comments...

"What if I’m simply deceiving myself about my doubts? What if they aren’t honest at all, and my claim that they are is disingenuous? Perhaps unconsciously I’m rebelling against God. Well, I’m simply not consciously aware of any attempt to rebel against God, nor am I consciously aware of any attempt to deceive myself at all. I have been a counselor in churches where I served and I know how to dig into my own unconscious mind enough to know that my doubts are honest ones. That’s all I can say."

"Dear Believer, You asked me to consider Christianity as the answer for my life. I have done that. I consider it untrue, repugnant, and harmful."

" An agnostic is a doubter. The word is generally applied to those who doubt the verity of accepted religious creeds of faiths. Everyone is an agnostic as to the beliefs or creeds they do not accept. Catholics are agnostic to the Protestant creeds, and the Protestants are agnostic to the Catholic creed. Any one who thinks is an agnostic about something, otherwise he must believe that he is possessed of all knowledge. And the proper place for such a person is in the madhouse or the home for the feeble-minded. In a popular way, in the western world, an agnostic is one who doubts or disbelieves the main tenets of the Christian faith..."

Of course there is some ranting from people who have been burned by Christianity, the church, and yes, other unscrupulous Christians... but there is also much written there from those who are unsure; unsure about faith; truth; and really what they should believe.

I guess I was just taken by suprise that there was a need/demand for such a website for "Ex-Christians".  Makes me sad. Any comments?

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June 16, 2005 in Outreach and Evangelism | Permalink

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Comments

I checked out the site. WOW, there is pain there. Very few of the posts actually spoke about Christ, but said volumes about the churches they encountered.

Posted by: Kent | Jun 16, 2005 8:49:25 AM

Yes, it seems that many have left the faith because of bad churches and other Christians more than a non-belief in Christ. That's what's so sad.

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Jun 16, 2005 9:03:26 AM

Todd,

I guess I am suprised that you are suprised. I have been a believer for over 30 years and I have seen first hand that even the best, most sincere, churches damage and wound a certain percentage of the people that go there over time.

Dr. Phil in one of his books made the comment to the effect that if you admit you have a problem in a church all you find is guilt, condemnation, and rejection. This is not completely true, but is is true enough. This is especially true as a "mature" believer.

Just my take on the issue.

jim

Posted by: jim | Jun 16, 2005 10:12:55 AM

Maybe suprised was the wrong word... perhaps 'disheartened' is more like it.

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Jun 16, 2005 10:17:28 AM

This site is especailly disheartening since it is dedicated to (so-called) ex-Christians. Many people I come in contact with relate some story where they feel a Christian or some Christian church has burned them, or they saw hypocrisy. I am sure some of it is unfair criticism, but some of it is true, too. At some point in my youth I may have felt the same about men, or the churches that men build, but I never thought to blame God. God always seemed above the mistakes of the men who represent him. And He is.

As Kent pointed out, the focus of the posts I read briefly were not on Christ. This is huge.

I think we need to constantly check our motives and continue to stay honest to God, pointing people to Christ, really seeking to put Him first.

People know the difference between being loved or just being preached to, but there are also those who simply won't understand no matter how much love you give them.

A person shouldn't come to Jesus during a guilt trip, but the truth is that we are sinners and need a Savior.

Posted by: teknon0301 | Jun 16, 2005 11:43:39 AM

I have some experience with this site; you can read about it here:

http://www.freegoodnews.com/liars.htm

I think the reason for this group is because any large group has ex-followers... same for Christians, or any other large religion.

They think they left religion, and are somehow neutral, when in fact their new "belief system" is secular humanism, for the most part. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism

Once you know that, you can reach them from their new "belief system." Most of them don't know they have this belief system; they think they are somehow outside of (and liberated from) "religion."

...Bernie
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/247

Posted by: bernie dehler | Jun 16, 2005 2:41:54 PM

Actually, an agnostic is a person who states that both theism and atheism are unproveable, therefore they decide to make no decision at all as to a belief in a deity.

Posted by: Greg Jones | Jun 20, 2005 11:59:32 AM

Rick Warren is quoted as saying that there are 2 types of non-Christians out there: those who have never met a Christian, and those who have.
You would wish that your denomination or group was the exception, but it seems we still are the only army which shoots the wounded or abandons the bewildered.
And there are 2 types of "agnostics" out there as well: those with honest problems or concerns, and those who are using issues as a smokescreen for a sin/rebellion problem.
We won't be able to solve the problem of bad or negative views of Christians by carping about all those imperfect churches or members out there. We can only be the light by being the light--overcoming evil with good, showing love to the unlovely, being Christ-like in the crisis. A living example of the best that Christ can do in a believer's life will sink the negatives like no amount of critisizing could ever do.

Posted by: Beloved | Jun 20, 2005 6:35:34 PM

The world is offended at the mention of The Gospel. The flesh is offended with The Gospel. There were people offended by what Jesus did and said There were people who were offended with Peter and Paul too.

Scripture is profitible for three things: Doctrine, Reproof and correction and inspiration to righteousness. Reproof deals with conduct (righteousness) and correction (doctrine).

It's usually these two areas where people are offended: Reproof or correction or both.

Don't be so quick to anger to blame the Christian for "not loving" these so called "ex-christians", maybe they loved them enough to correct and reproof and it was not accepted. Maybe they are not "ex-christians" maybe they never were Christians.

Posted by: BeHim | Jun 21, 2005 3:14:14 AM

Ex-Christians do not exist. While their may be ex-church goers that have fled a bad church, or their sin has forced them to leave the place of truth. A true Christian might flee church for a season, they never become ex-Christians. God will finish the good work he hast started. He will not rest working on them.

The only question in my mind is, "did they really know the Lord?" Did the trust in Christ and His work on the cross? Did they see their sins as exceedingly sinful? Did they believe that their sins is just cause to pronounce them guilty and worthy of condemnation? Did they repent of their sins and turn to Christ to accept His gift of righteousness?
Or more than likely. did they ask Jesus into their heart to see if it is as good as everyone says it is? Did they ask Christ into their heart so they could kick thier drug habit, fix their marriage, give them happiness, medical benefits, or wealth?

When we tell people to try Jesus because God has a wondeful plan for thier life, what do you believe happens when the face persecution, mockings, and temptations? What do you think happens to them when they are chastised by God, or they are rebuked by other Christians for thier sins?

If they trusted Christ for salvation those things make them look forward to Heavan with yearning. If they trsuted Christ for a better marriage and so on, they start doubting and resenting those that gave them the promises.

Posted by: Franklin Reeves | Jun 27, 2005 3:06:18 PM

praise the Lord iam david thank you for these meterial pray for me

Posted by: B.Davidprasad | Jun 30, 2005 8:08:15 AM

I was doing a google search to find the x-christians site and found this one instead.

I tried being a Christian for a number of years, but I realised that I couldn't be a christian any more, I could only be myself. I suppose I got to a cross-roads in my life, where I realised that everything or anything that I thought I knew about god and life in general was as a result of being brainwashed. For me being x-christian or x-anything for that matter is more about finding my own truth - not someone else's. I am neither for or against the concept of god, rather I am in neutral. Its rather an uncomfortable place to be in after many years of trying to go along with what I was 'conditioned' to believe, but I am getting used to it. It has been helpful to post letters on the x-christian website, because I had no support whatsoever once I decided to leave church. Christians would only give me cliches or tell me that I was under attack and that only served to make things worse for me. I just needed to have some down to earth honest replies and to feel like I wasn't alone.

Posted by: christine | Feb 11, 2007 6:18:59 AM

I was doing a google search to find the x-christians site and found this one instead.

I tried being a Christian for a number of years, but I realised that I couldn't be a christian any more, I could only be myself. I suppose I got to a cross-roads in my life, where I realised that everything or anything that I thought I knew about god and life in general was as a result of being brainwashed. For me being x-christian or x-anything for that matter is more about finding my own truth - not someone else's. I am neither for or against the concept of god, rather I am in neutral. Its rather an uncomfortable place to be in after many years of trying to go along with what I was 'conditioned' to believe, but I am getting used to it. It has been helpful to post letters on the x-christian website, because I had no support whatsoever once I decided to leave church. Christians would only give me cliches or tell me that I was under attack and that only served to make things worse for me. I just needed to have some down to earth honest replies and to feel like I wasn't alone.

Posted by: christine | Feb 11, 2007 6:19:12 AM

In reply to Behim, all due respect to what you are saying about God and forgiveness etc, but whats wrong with asking God for a good marriage, medical benefits, wealth and so on? If he is a good God, surely he would want human beings to be happy. And also many people in the modern Church are very prosperous so why not?

Posted by: kieran | Jul 6, 2007 11:31:38 AM

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