Sunday 20 December 2009

random disassociated thoughts on deconversion and the like

It's all circular reasoning, really, using the Bible to reason with people who do not believe anymore. I mean, it's things they know. It's stuff they've decided not to believe in. Knocking them on the head with it isn't going to make things any much better. It's just going to confirm their belief in your utter lunacy. I mean, you pick some fresh target who has no clue about the Bible, no knowledge about anything of your creed, and sure, they'll listen. Sure, they'll think something of it, or not. You try cramming down your beliefs to an ex-Christian who can probably quote every single word of it back to you... and refute it in the same breath, will just leave you standing with egg on your face.

At least they're honest. More honest than the other 50% (or more, I'm just projecting a number here), who've grown up in church, built life in church, lived church and God and all that schmuck and never given it a second thought, never raised their doubts, never questioned, but just lived it as another lifestyle, another religion, another way of life. And they get uptight when people question and dig, because - heck what do you think? - they can't answer because they just don't know.

Rather than addressing the real issue - the questions that beg for answers, the real confusion, the deep-seated need to realise the reality of it all - you (they?) get faced with a whole barrage of worried questions if you are okay (duhhhh), why don't you believe, why can't you have enough faith, the devil is behind this, you must pray more, we will pray for you, what's wrong with you...

Then again, knowing the lingo sets you up for life. It doesn't really matter if you actually do believe or not, because knowing the right words and the appropriate actions keeps you safe within the fold. Any show of honesty in admitting lack of faith, or uncertainty, or the slightest smidgen of doubt unsettles everything and throws over whatever security you had, or used to have, in your own religion.

And there it is again, that word.

What is it? Is it merely a religion? Is it merely a relationship? These words are bandied about so often, so many times. It gets so old and stale. Yes, knowing God isn't a religion, it's a relationship. Worship is a lifestyle, bla de bla de bla. Does it really make any difference?

Sometimes religion is overrated. Christianity is overrated. I agree with the huge amounts of people out there who believe that it's full of lies, full of hypocrisy, full of everything it isn't supposed to be.

But I also agree with the large body of witnesses who can testify and say that I believe it is real, because God has done something for me. It's intensely personal because I can only tell you what He has done for me, or rather what I believe He has done for me, which is really rather open to debate, because anyone can say that this almighty-being-in-the-sky did this for me, when in actual fact, it was just a matter of course, a matter of nature, a piece of coincidence.

So it comes down to worldview.

And the truth behind acts of deconversion is this: the clash between my worldview and that of the 'church' was too far different to be reconciled.

We live with fuzzy worldviews. We're reconciling basically pagan / heathen / irreligious lifestyles and beliefs with one that proclaims an ultimate Truth and Good and Holiness (and lots of other supposedly absolute stuff). And most of us live in those margins, blurring the lines between true Christ-like actions and churchy actions lived out of... lifestyle and expectations, rather than true conviction.

We struggle with the small actions that will show our good works, making a big fuss of them, as if it will somehow gain us a better place in heaven. Truth? Make a fuss now to make it biiigggg... it's a biiiigggg sacrifice, notice me! I'm good! I'm so spiritual! I'm so awesome! Right. (And any right-minded person will puke right now, go ahead, we'll wait).

That's not to say that everyone is like that. There are the true gems, who fall between the cracks, who by the virtue of their true humility and Christ-likeness are never noticed, never applauded, never remembered, until after they are dead and gone.

But we fall away, not because of lack of concern, just the realisation on waking up one morning and wondering - what has all this been for? What is the truth behind it? Where is the peace and joy and love that's supposed to be there, but is not? It's waking up to a sudden emptiness, where there used to be a glow, opening your eyes to the fact that everything you once believed in, lived for and breathed for, makes little or no sense anymore. It's waking up wondering - where's the reality in this? Where's the something more that I've always been waiting for?

And some will push on, but some will not.

For some fuzzy reason, that's much better than living the lie.
Maybe because He did say he'll spit (vomit) out the lukewarm.


  1. "And some will push on, but some will not.

    For some fuzzy reason, that's much better than living the lie.
    Maybe because He did say he'll spit (vomit) out the lukewarm."

    Which is the much better you're referring to? The pushing or the not pushing?

    I'd like to see where this train of thought goes. Would good works really have to come from being completely selfless? Surely that's not humanly possible. The human ego is a very real and universally present thing. Is it humanly possible to completely put the self aside, consistently and perpetually?

    Another thing to consider, I suppose, would be, are the apathetic apathetic because they are afraid of what they might discover? I had a friend (someone you know, actually) who refused to read the book of Revelations because what she knew of it scared her. What would you say of people like that?

  2. Either way, it's better than just pretending it's okay. But that's just my take. Maybe it's actually better to at least maintain the semblance of faith but I think that's like, lying. Or misrepresentation, at the very least.

    I don't know if good works really have to come from being completely selfless, it's just that sometimes, it's just too obviously selfish, that it's suspect. Too many ulterior motives. It's like the emphasis isn't even on the good works itself.

    Frankly, I wouldn't know what to say. Good for them, if they're fine not knowing, I guess. As long as they don't stop others who want to know from actually trying to find out.

    I really don't know where this train of thought is going. It was kind of like a rant that was trying to come out for ever so long.

  3. a very well-articulated post on deconversion :)

    thanks for writing :)