I consider myself a born-again atheist. By this I mean than in my younger days I did not believe. Then, in my late 20s, when feeling down and lonely, I succumbed to an invitation from a local evangelical church and started attending. They had me hook, line and sinker.
In church I found 'friends', which I wanted. When I moved from the city to a neighbouring town, I joined a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (POAC) church and was there for a few years. Moving back to the city, I attended a very fundamentalist church. Then, in an adult class one Sunday, the leaders finally said evolution was not real and I was supposed to accept it. The rebellion began.
I started easing out, looking for a church that would work for me. I went back to the very first church I attended. While there, I attended the funeral of a friend's father. Driving home with the pastor, he said he found such services difficult because the deceased had never accepted Christ, so what could he say to the grieving family, knowing their father was in hell.
Moved on again at that point to a more liberal Christian church. In Canada, that would include the United Church of Canada. Still didn't sit right. It was on to a New Thought group that followed the teachings of Ernest Holmes . . . kinda like the whole Secret think from a couple of years ago, but originating back in the 1920s or so.
After a couple of years, I moved to a different city. No New Thought churches. Mostly traditional and Mormon. So, I took up with a small Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. I've been calling myself an atheist for a few years. Now the UUF is starting to feel a bit like a crutch.
Members who call themselves pantheists. Members who believe in astrology! Members who are followers of The Secret and believe the universe responds to our intentions.
I've eased my way out of the flock and think it's time to leave all the spiritual mumbo-jumbo behind - even if the group is accepting of different beliefs, including atheism. I find I'm just not willing to sit there and listen to different folks expressing how astrology helps them determine their life path, or how positive intentions put out into the universe will create actions to your benefit, or any of the other things that pass for spirituality.
Has anyone else eased their away out of the church or did you go cold turkey?
I think the change between "I need to get out of this church" and "I need to get out of the church" is significant, and the one can preceed the other. I know for myself i left my parents church, looking for a church of my own, trying a couple before i realised i wanted out altogether.
That's very true. I found my way into the church culture, I've been finding my way out and I realize I simply want to sever all ties with the concept.
I was deeply involved in the church for several years. After years of doubt, I moved from Christian to Diest to Atheist. My wife is still a strong believer. In an effort to keep the peace, I still attend Sunday morning services. However, I no longer serve in any capacity, attend Sunday evening services or Wed night prayer meetings.