Apostate (Dictionary.com): One who has forsaken the faith, principles, or party, to which he before adhered; esp., one who has forsaken his religion for another; a pervert; a renegade.
When I was a believer, I heard the word apostate bandied about quite a bit. I heard it in many sermons and on the lips of Christians and always in hushed tones. Even as a young child, I knew that an apostate was the opposite of what is good. You never wanted to be one. The dictionary doesn’t really give the complete definition, at least not the fundamentalist Christian version. In Christian terms being an apostate basically means that you have lived your life as a Christian, made all the professions of the faith, enjoyed all the benefits of the Christian community, and had all the earmarks of a true believer, but and this is a big one, you were never really a believer and by all intents and purposes, you are going to hell. You are dead meat. There really is no hope for you-sorry to say. You get the picture; it has a negative connotation, but a pervert? I need to think about that for a moment.
Early on in my de-conversion, a friend wrote me an email. Let’s just say she got “e-nerve.” In the email she considered the possibility that I was an apostate. (See blog entitled “In a Pit or an Apostate, Pick your Poison,”) I have to admit that the use of the word in reference to me, did put a bit of a chill down my spine. Sometimes it’s hard to escape the ideas that were beaten into your psyche as a child. I’ve come a long way since then and I now proudly say that I am an apostate. I have left my Christian faith behind and I’ve never felt more emotionally healthy or happy. I have to admit that the use of the word pervert is a bit off putting. Why pervert? I was thinking though that maybe just for comedic relief we should stop calling ourselves de-converts and use pervert instead. Think of it: an old Christian friend approaches you and asks where you are going to church, you say, “no where.” When they ask the next predictable question, “why not?” You simply smile and say, “Why, because I’m now a pervert.” I’m thinking that wouldn’t go so well, but to see the look on the other person’s face might make it worthwhile. In fact, I’m sure that it would. I’m digressing now, and fantasizing a bit, but seriously seeing the word apostate associated with pervert, well, it’s just flat out hilarious, but maybe that’s just me—pervert that I am.