So, I used to be a Christian. A hard-lined conservative evangelical Christian. I preached in churches and on street corners and in dusty Muslim countries. Missionary. Scholar. All that.
Then I left it. Secretly. My wife and I and a very few friends know. The rest of my social circles think I’m still the super-Christian. I even still preach in evangelical churches.
I’m going to have to tell them some day. My parents. My friends. The people who used to give me money when I was a missionary. It’s pretty intimidating. Not totally sure how to do it.
I drafted a letter that I was going to post after I sat down with the closer people who I feel deserve a personal heads-up. I posted it on the blog attached to this account.
I’d love some feedback or wise words if any of you have had to do something similar.
@ddub21, I’ve already left. I’m not a Christian. Now it’s just a matter of telling all the people who are close to me.
Really, I’m already doing what makes me happy. I’m happy all the time, which is awesome because I had previously struggled with debilitating depression since I was twelve. And I really do love the people that I need to tell. That’s what makes me want to be sure I do it right. Even though I don’t agree with how they look at the world, I still love them and I still want them to love me, if they’re able.
Who says you have to tell anybody? Why not just drop out completely. What if you chose to stop preaching and going to church. What if you didn’t tell anyone and let them figure it out by themselves. They would probably just see it as a blow to their ego anyway. Plus they’ve probably been great friends over the years. There is no need to tell them something that they might take as an insult. I suggest just living your life and not explaining yourself to anybody unless they ask. Once they do that, feel free to explain.
What an exciting story, and thanks for giving the trust to this community. Yes, you love those people. And if they love you the same way, they’re going to accept your new path. That’s how religion and belief in the good should work, right?
All the others … sorry, I have to compare this to work. Like a person that starts a job with the faith that it could be a good job, to make a better world. If the job turns out to be not what it was expected to be, you can leave. And it’s a damn good feeling and liberating thing to just leave. Most people don’t dare to do it.
@mycomfyuterus, My first response is already well written by @oreilly . I would just drop out. Be unavailable. I don’t say lie as to reasons why you may turn down a request to speak or such. Let folks figure it out for themselves. To make an announcement might could be taken as an aggressive move on your part (even if those who feel that way are not conscious of it), and/or a pronouncement regarding their “faith” and “beliefs”. Just quietly fade away. Then people will wonder, yes. Then people will talk, yes. THEN, at some point and place you will be asked. When that happens, see what your gut says as to whether or not to give an answer. You DO have the freedom to be completely you without explanation. I can see that people have been kind to you, and some folks have given money – but you know what? You were what they were supporting at those “now” moments. Presently, each now moment that unfolds holds a different you. And that is okay. I just read the letter you composed on the blog. VERY well written and articulated! You clearly state your own feelings about your situation in the five-part section for everyone working with doubt. You say, ” I’m happy all the time ” – that’s a pretty clear sign that you are on the “right path”. Peace, Love & Light ~ ricky