Conversations with a Christian (part 1):

Christian:  I can’t explain it really, but I know with all my being that Christianity is true and Christ died for my sins.  I feel it in my soul. I have no doubts.

Me:  Did you know that people from other religions feel the same way about their own religion, and just as strongly?  What about them?

Christian:    Well…they’re deceived.

Me:  Oh.  Have you studied any of these other religions?  Do you really know much about them?

Christian:  No.  (Getting angry)  I don’t need to study them to know they are wrong.

Me:  Oh.  Okay.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ... Zoe ~
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 01:36:54

    See, right there, that’s it, that’s what I gave up the day I decided I could no longer in good conscience call myself a Christian. It was the day I realized that “I knew nothing.” Despite all those years as a dedicated, sincere and honest believer, I had to drop my arrogance of “knowing.” It wasn’t until I left that I realized how arrogant it was of me to assume that my belief was “right.”

    Reply

  2. notabarbie
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 01:59:58

    Same here. I was such an arrogant know-it-all when I was a Christian. It feels so good to be free from that. I remember a girlfriend of mine saying something that has stuck with me, “If there is a god, I don’t think he would be happy in our knowing, but would find joy in our journeys of discovery.” I’ll take that. Thanks or reading Zoe!

    Reply

  3. Larry
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 05:31:57

    Wow. How did you avoid anger? 😉

    Reply

  4. juliesamazed
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 08:45:47

    It’s been a few years for me and I still have the anger. I’m ashamed of myself for being such a blind follower, and I’m angry when I think about the 20+ years that I wasted in blindness. Sometimes I feel like I miss my old Christian friends, but really, I it’s hard to find any commonality now; their conversations always eventually get to something about either the church or Christianity. And I certainly am not interested it that. What I also have a hard time with is not being disgusted at their ignorance . . .

    Reply

  5. notabarbie
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 23:22:13

    Hi Julie!
    Thanks for commenting! I know just what you mean. I’ve dealt with anger, and mostly at myself. I try not to focus on the years I wasted, but more on the years I have left. It is hard though. Every time a Christian says something crazy, I see my old self and know that I said those things at one time…god…that is so hard. I really don’t hang out with any of my old Christian friends anymore. I really tried to, but I found that although they could talk all about God, Jesus, and Church as much as they wanted to, I was to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Anything I might say was seen as a direct attack on them. When it became clear that in order to stay friends, I would have to bite my tongue, I faced the reality that friendship would be impossible. Early on in my de-conversion, I found it very easy to empathize with my Christian friends when they would say mean things, but as time goes on, I too fight being disgusted.
    Hang in there and thanks so much for reading!

    Reply

  6. juliesamazed
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 03:32:49

    You know, another way to describe how I feel about it is disrespect. I don’t know, now that I’m out of it all, I find it so hard to believe that I ever really believed it all. But I did! How can you be friends with people who you think are ignorant, and that ignorance is of their own choosing! The whole bible seems so far-fetched to me; I’m just surprised that if I could figure that out, why can’t they??

    For instance, a friend of mine recently told me that her 18-year-old daughter is planning to spend the whole summer in Haiti on a missions trip. “She’s so godly,” she said. All I could think was, “she’s so stupid!” Now what kind of friend am I thinking that? But it’s true. I want to shake that girl and tell her to enjoy her youth while she has it! Go to parties! Hang out with your friends! Have fun!

    I need help getting past this condescending attitude. How do you get to the point where you respect people who you really feel are, well, since I feel like I can be honest here I’ll just say it – stupid. You’ve said that you have friends who are in the same position that you are. Do you meet face to face and talk about this stuff? I have no one here. I’m thinking of trying to find a local de-con group, maybe a secular humanist meeting. Have you had any experience with this?

    Reply

    • boomslang
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 04:11:12

      For me, the frustration with believers hasn’t subsided, and frankly, I don’t think it ever will. The only thing that kind of helps me is when I tell myself that no one *asks* to be indoctrinated(brainwashed). Then again, when the indoctrinated children become adults and they make it very clear that they *want* to remain that way – IOW, when you point out to them that they have no good reasons to believe what they’ve been taught, other than wanting to believe it – then the anger and frustration sets right in again. It’s like a cycle.

      Reply

  7. notabarbie
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 04:45:47

    It’s hard at times. I just keep trying to put myself back in their shoes. They are brain washed, for lack of a better word. I guess indoctrinated is a good way of putting it. I have to say, that it does get better. The anger subsides and rears its ugly head less. Once you are out of the box, so to speak, you see their beliefs for what they are–pretty much crazy. It’s hard to respect that. Try and respect the person instead of the belief system, I suppose. You should try and find like-minded people. I didn’t really have anyone in the beginning. It was mostly friends on the internet. Thank goodness for them. I’ve never joined a group, but the more public I have become with my non-belief, the more others have kind of found their way to me. Some really close friends were on the verge of de-converting and I had no idea. As I shared with them, they were more open with me and now, some are completely done with Christianity and we support each other. Only fellow de-converts can fully understand what it is like, but other non-believers are helpful too. If you need to, I would reach out to a de-con group or even start your own. Check “meetups” in your area: Meetups.com.
    I hope that helps. I’m so glad you are here. I will help in any way I can, okay?

    Reply

  8. eric
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 15:14:22

    now wait a minute folks…..this conversation is a beatifull piece of work, i love it….how ever this same conversation,with the same words and responses,can easily have been with jewdiasm,or baha.i or any other beliefs. the bottom line is were all are on (or should be on) the same journey,and which path is taken is up to each individuals comfort. what i dont agree on, and this is also what i get from the message, who is to say ones rite and the others wrong? sins against each other,even over religion if thats your path, is still a sin against the other.. i dont know if im a christian per say…does it really matter? ive been studying the tao te ching lately. a book older than the bible. and rite now in my life its taught me a closer way to “GOD”. so did i stop believing what little i know of the bible? no.. it just felt like a calling and brought me comfort… in a yr i might be pulled to native spirituality or buddism,or not have any interest in named methods or paths at all…but the spiitual journey will never end…… no matter what path a person takes,isnt that what its all about?

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Dec 11, 2012 @ 00:35:06

      Thanks for reading and commenting Eric. I agree that the conversation could have taken place with another religion filling in the blanks, but this was a real conversation and it was with a Christian. I do get your point though. I also agree that the spiritual journey will never end and it’s shouldn’t. I don’t want to ever be in the position of saying that I have found “the way” ever again, but I tend to believe in things provable, tangible, and rational. Most religions fall short of that standard for me. You said, “i dont know if im a christian per say…does it really matter?” My response to that is, yeah it kind of does matter. The very word Christian means a follower of Christ. The only way to know Christ is in the Bible and Christ said that there is only one way to God and salvation and that is through him alone and let’s not forget the “burn in Hell” part if one does not believe it. Pretty exclusive don’t you think? I respect your journey, and hope you will continue on it, learning and growing with an open mind, which is what it sounds like you are doing.

      PS- and I don’t mean this in a mean way, but just to be helpful. It’s Per se, not per say. it’s right, not rite, and Judaism, not Jewdiasm. I make mistakes all the time and I would want to know about it too. Have a great day!

      Reply

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