How I Left Christianity: Introduction
February 6, 2012 3 Comments
It has been several years since I left Christianity. It’s been a long journey–and an incremental one. After all, the church had been a very large part of my life for a very long time, socially and psychologically. Naturally, it wouldn’t be something that I could leave behind all at once.
Like I said before, the church was a very big part of my life. How big? Well, I began attending this church around the age of five. It encompassed the vast majority of my social life–most of my friends and mentors attended. I spent a great deal of my time there–several days a week, in addition to outside-of-church socializing and outings with members of the church. It influenced my development–I learned many skills while there, as well as it having a huge influence on my morals and ethics. Church taught me a lot of things about the outside world–framing current events into a Christian worldview, influencing how I’d react and process the world for years.
There were many events, learning, and people who contributed to my decision to leave Christianity. I didn’t meet these people, learn these things, and experience everything all at once. As each of these things happened, it moved me one step further away from the church. Like I said, it was a long journey, and it’s one I want to share. But it’s far too long of a story to put into one post, so I’ll be sharing, but one experience, one piece of knowledge, one person at a time.
Some quick background:
The church was small–less than a hundred members. My parents had been married by the pastor, and my aunt, uncle, and cousin attended this church. The church community was pretty tightly woven–it was a close community, but there were power differentials–wealthy members, deacons, members with many relatives attending, and influential community members had much more influence and authority than those without those things.
This church’s chosen methods of recruitment and fundraising *cough* was through musical productions, and Vacation Bible School (VBS) for children. Also, food. This was a Southern Baptist church, you see, and Southern Baptists will have food at every possible church activity. People jokingly tossed around the phrase “Baptists eat like Catholics drink.” I find it a rather apt and useful descriptor here. Eating was the main social activity, or “fellowship” at this particular church.
In the next post I’ll write about the events that started it all.