Preamble

(1) Shift to Blog or (2) Go To Next Journey Page>> 

Faith has never been either trivial or ancillary in my life: from childhood to the present, it has always carried a noted cost. This blog began primarily as an extended letter for my friends and family, who will no doubt struggle to understand exactly why I have come to reverse my position on issues of faith. The purpose of Journey is to convey as clearly as I can the tumultuous year that has transpired in the quiet background, consuming my attentions, troubling my dreams, and robbing my sleep.  It is not my purpose here to persuade, except perhaps to plead that I have not gone mad or shifted recklessly. There have been only a few with whom I could struggle through these things, and that with fervor and diligence. The struggle has also been largely private with the hope of staving off unwarranted turbulence in my broader circle of friends and family.

The hope of the situation naturally diffusing has since passed, and so these private struggles come now to a juncture of inevitable and broader transparency. I will attempt to be utterly honest, as I hope to be in all things.  But it has been for me a dire struggle, and it will not be short in the telling.

Yet I see in the journey a crisp and lucid conclusion, with daylight on the distal side of this unbidden and stormy course diversion. And despite the struggle, the loss, and the pain (past and yet to come), I must affirm that I wish I had known sooner. There were a number of authorities in my past which had been in a position to lift the veil. I am not grateful for this dubious yet well-exercised prerogative. Truth over comfort, and may comfort follow. In respect of my self-disposition and in recognition of how little I differ in substance from my neighbors, I suspect that there may be others who feel likewise. But I may well be mistaken.

Finally a brief plea: postpone boxing me up at least a while. Having been within the church for a long time, I recognize the lens through which we view people’s changes of position on faith matters. But our labels and categories contain blind spots, and I realize looking rearward how I have mislabeled others. I also thought my own position was fully bulletproof.

What changed? It is possible to bring down a structure by removing the right component, the right foundational brick. The brick in this case was removed; worse –  it proved imaginary, and had never been. And I now find myself in a strange place that I thought did not exist – one that had no place among my former categories – as a sort of conscientious objector.

A note on the blog structure: the Journey pages sketch my re-education and personal changes of the past year, but they do so with something of an arc, which peaks with my Personal Thesis. There, the various tributary threads of information coalesce into what, for me, has been a complete terminus of my past beliefs. For those interested in skipping to the high points, I do suggest a look at the Thesis.

Thanks for reading.

Next Journey Page: [1] Introduction >>

4/1/2013

Comments

  1. I am 70. I was 65 when I no longer believed the myth. I too wish I had known sooner. That being said, I am so grateful for the freedom I have inside my head now. For the time being, I have to remain ‘in the church’ due to circumstances beyond my control. I am married to a minister. For 50 years. So there will be no cutting those kinds of ties. I look forward to reading your story. I’m sure it will give me courage to continue with mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that’s amazing, and a complicated situation I have no doubt. Change like this is so hard, but I would think at the stage of life you undertook it, such changes are pretty rare. I’m grateful for the freedom too. And that’s where I tried to leave the Epilogue, since its somewhat heavy in between. 🙂

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  2. “I wish I had known sooner.”

    That would make a simply brilliant book title. You’re writing is also exceptional.

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  3. Great prose. Thanks to Nate, I arrived here :-P.

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  4. Interesting story, Brisancian. It’s a little scary but always exhilarating being on this side. Turns out we were captains of our fate and masters of our own souls all along….

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    • Thanks Deborah, glad you stopped by. Yes, I suppose you’re right. Its all pretty much the same though, in so many ways. We’re still who we are – no new piercings or dyed hair – but without the… mental clutter. 🙂

      Still working through some things with friends, and that’s the hardest part.

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      • Yes, indeed, we are still the same. Perhaps a little more at peace, though, when we accept agnosticism/atheism as part of who we are. For those around us, it’s not that we are different to them. It’s that they feel betrayed and/or fearful. We are no longer on the same team, and our “souls” are at stake.

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  5. Matt, is there an email I use to contact you?

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  6. @Jericho Brisance

    “it is possible to bring down a structure by removing the right component, the right foundational brick. The brick in this case was removed”.

    What was the foundational brick of Christianity in your case? Please

    Regards

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  7. @Jericho Brisance

    I have gone through your “journey” from being a Christian to a place undefined.

    I want to be more sure that I have understood your journey correctly.

    I have found some places where you wrote:

    • The Conservative Church maintains,“Our core doctrines are right; they were right in the past; they will always be right.”

    • “God’s Words, I remain convinced; can stand very well on their own.”

    Please mention exactly what you mean by these core-teachings which have become redundant now; from the perspective of OT (Judaism) and the perspective of NT (Christianity).

    Also please elaborate the second point also.

    Thanks and regards

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    • @Paarsurrey,

      By core doctrines I am referring to several classes of claims. The Apostle’s creed and Nicene creed. The accepted Catholic and Protestant canons of the New and Old Testament. And the historical traditions about authorship of the books within the canon.

      With regard to “God’s words”, this statement was meant to say that whatever God’s words are, they can withstand any scrutiny. That means that if something in the Bible really and truly did come from God, it will be found to align with the evidences from God’s world, with the coherence posited by God’s invented rules of logic, etc. In other words, if we find that some of the content in our texts fails to measure up, then that content cannot have come from God. God made the world and he is the only one that could have “recorded” the evidences into its rocks, trees, lakes, polar ice layers, and fossils. If God made the world, then God was the author of such evidences. On the other hand, it was men who wrote the texts. One way we can tell whether those men were really and truly writing on God’s behalf is by comparing – do they square with the book that God and only God could have written – the book of his earth and creation? If we find the words of the texts coming up short, then those words are probably fraudulent… In other words, strike a match and set the flame to it — if God wrote it, it won’t burn up. But if it burns, it wasn’t his, because his words would be fireproof.

      When you say, “Please mention exactly what you mean by these core-teachings which have become redundant now”… I’m not sure what you mean. Perhaps you could rephrase?

      ~Matt

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Secular Wings

My freedom from spiritual abuse happened when I walked away from the abusers. My healing and recovery from the complex trauma of spiritual abusers, spiritually abusive faith and toxic religion happened while I was still a Christian and continues to this day. My deconversion came later after many many years of studying the Bible, Christian apologetics, cults and spiritual abuse. When I realized that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, the only honest thing I could do was to stop calling myself a Christian. ~ Zoe

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