PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Marcus Steenberg
 
Comments: 363
Article views: 4382
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Marcus Steenberg's badges.
 

Deconverted

23 October 2012, 09:13

Deconverted

There will be some of you reading these forums that have serious or lingering doubts about the religion you find yourself in. In my case it was Christianity and I found myself in my final year of theological college doubting more and more.

There are two questions to answer here. (1) Why did I leave? and (2) How did I leave? They should be read in parallel rather then sequentially as they happened together rather than one after the other.

(1)               Why?

It starts with the little things. Over the years I had met many good, kind, wonderful people who also happened not to be Christian. They were sometimes of other faiths and more often of no faith and apart from the irritating and friendship-destroying command I was under to attempt to convert them “if I really loved them”, I just wondered how it could be that a loving god would burn them in hell for all eternity simply because they had been born into another faith or couldn’t see the sense in mine.

Later, theological problems crept in, the many inconsistencies in the Bible just grew the more I looked into it. The historical inaccuracies and complete fabrications made taking the Bible seriously more difficult. Once you learn for example that Jericho and Ai existed 300 years apart and Joshua could not have been at both cities, you can’t unlearn that. There were countless other things. The fundamentalist college I attended attempted to keep these things away from us and I would say 99% of all Christians I knew were completely ignorant of them. These things are not taught in churches, not covered in books sold in Christian book shops, people are just completely unaware that the theology and historical basis of the faith they hold so dear is a complete and utter fabrication. The trappings of a good established religion are perfectly real of course, the friendship, the camaraderie and even the good works (whatever the motivation). The feelings they feel (and I felt) “in the presence of god” are real but manufactured internally and replicable in a laboratory. Later I learned what amounted to the final nail in the coffin, that the gospel story was borrowed or even stolen from much older cults in existence at time. I met and knew many genuine lovely people in the church – but if the foundation was a hoax I simply could not continue. There is much more I could say here.

(2)               How?

After having lived and breathed it for, in my case 8 years, in other’s cases decades, to twist a common meme, “One does not simply walk out of church”

The process is gradual – and all the things I recounted in (1) happened over time as did my gradual extrication from all things church. First I left the denomination I was previously beholden to. I moved over to the Church of England (Anglican) (warning: Not the Church of England in South Africa) and I found there simple acceptance without interrogation about whether I was “saved”, “washed in the blood” etc. For a while I revelled in the bells and smells (and the super short services) as well as the more open, liberal theology. I could feel the fundamentalist in me kicking against it but I resisted the pull. I also stopped daily prayers. One of the ways you are kept locked in and brainwashed is by rituals, like daily prayer. I was convinced stopping prayers and reading the Bible would see my life turned over to turmoil but guess what, nothing bad happened. Not only did my life continue on its trajectory, it went better, I felt freer, lighter and the practices I had seen as a delight were revealed as the burden they actually were.

Initially the people I knew and loved contacted me, sent me tracts, came around and so on and were barely placated by the fact that I was attending an Anglican church (horror of horrors) but that did die down after a bit – I started to make new friends outside the church and linked up with people who could not abide me when I was a “Bible basher” – its important to make non-church friends because they will help you make the transition.

I eventually drifted away from attending services and finally placing my Bible on the shelf (and eventually into a box), I was finally able to say I was completely free of the trappings of religion. My time and my money were my own and my life has never been better.

Of course psychologically, its not as simple. The theological “truths” and terrible, unforgivable, threats remain with you. Someone described it like if an eagle grabs a rabbit but before it gets too high the rabbit struggles free. The tips of the eagle’s talons break off under its skin and niggle and worry the rabbit, but at least it survives. I felt the tips of the talons niggling and worrying me. I got over those thoughts and worries by reading books written by people who had walked away, by rational thoughtful authors who pointed out the flaws in the religious arguments and also forums and groups for ex-Christians. In time, you are able to put those thoughts behind you. If you really can’t – you might have to see a secular counsellor to help you talk through your fears because the ugly side of religion, the threats, the demons, the hell fire are very damaging indeed and many people remain paralysed by fear.

If you want to leave, or think you might want to. You can. Trust me. It took me 6 years in total but for over a decade now I have been happier than I have ever been – master of my destiny.

If you want to start, you can say the following “I reject Christianity, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father as myths. I take responsibility for my own destiny and resolve to enjoy life to the utmost for the time I have left.”

Wait and see, nothing will happen that wasn’t going to anyway and then start your own journey out of slavery and brainwashing into a much brighter, happier existence.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
363 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
A Groovy Trooper
3 Every Hour

I would just like to highlight the fact that, according to the latest murder stats, we lose 47 South Africans to murder EVERY SINGLE DAY. That's 329 per week. 1,316 per month. Read more...

12 comments 1047 views
South African can crime can still...

The crime stats (2013/2014) have been released today and it is shocking. I am not going to consider the figures as they are not reliable because the stats are based only on reported figures. Read more...

18 comments 613 views
Submitted by
Manthole Morwa Kgwedi
“The forgotten transport infrastr...

The problems resulting from transport externalities have become a world-wide contested concern.  Read more...

3 comments 497 views
Submitted by
hzcummi
The Truth of Genesis: Another App...

Over 244 million years ago, Yehovah created the first known birds, other flying creatures, and the dinosaurs of the sea, which Moses called “sea monsters”.  Read more...

58 comments 1147 views
Submitted by
Siiphamandlah
Open Letter to “OUR” Politicians ...

It comes with great sadness and distaste to realize that our institution(s) have become a platform for releasing personal frustrations and settling old scores. Read more...

2 comments 421 views
Submitted by
ohomen171
Before Sending Human Colonists To...

It's about three groups of people who decided to forsake normal civilized life and got to live on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos Islands. Read more...

11 comments 810 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.