"All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling" - Blaise Pascal
I grew up in a Christadelphian family and was baptised in 1967. I remained in fellowship for nineteen years. When I was a Christadelphian I knew thousands of Christadelphian all over the World. I helped to bring many of them into the faith and I often instructed them for baptism. I know exactly WHY people convert to the religion.
I resigned from the religion in 1986 and since that time I have known hundreds of Ex-Christadelphians. Many of my friends are Ex-Christadelphians. My dentist and my lawyer are both Ex-Christadelphians. I have helped some of them to leave the religion and I have listened to many stories of why they all left. I know exactly WHY people un-convert out of the religion.
Very few people in the World have my considerable depth of experience converting and un-converting people in and out of the Christadelphian religion. Call me crazy to have done both in earnest, but the fact remains that when it comes to converting and un-converting Christadelphians - I am an expert on both.
And I have discovered an amazing thing: That the human mind converts to religion exactly the same way that it un-converts out of religion - for trivial reasons!
It has nothing to do with faith, or lack of faith, or losing faith, or any such thing. People don't convert to Christadelphianism because God calls them, or the Word of God works in their hearts, or they are convinced of the splendid logic of our arguments. And they don't un-convert because they see the flaws in our logic, or because they figure out that the Bible is a fake, or because they lose faith in God.
They convert because it is the family religion, because it is expected of them, because they need to conform, because they don't want to upset their parents or relatives, because they want to secure a legacy, because they want to have sex with a Christadelphian girl/boy, because they want to marry a Christadelphian Man/Woman, because they are lonely, because they want to secure a place in a Christadelphian care home, because they like the social life, because they are fed up with their old religion and they are on the rebound, because they are impressed with a charismatic Christadelphian speaker, because CareLinks are feeding them or fixing their problems, because the Bible Mission are teaching them English or giving them free stuff. Hundreds, thousands of different reasons motivate people to convert to become Christadelphians and they are all the WRONG reasons.
The same goes for people who un-convert; including me. We un-convert because we get bored with the routine and fancy a change, because our friends or relatives or spouse un-converts, because we need to conform, because we can't stand the ABs or some other obnoxious person in our ecclesia, because the seats in our Christadelphian Hall are uncomfortable, because we have a row in the Ecclesia about the colour of the new carpet or who cleans the place, because the ecclesia don't give us money when we are in need, because we want sex with someone outside the faith or wish to marry them, because we can't stand singing hymns, because we don't feel appreciated, because we find a better social life or join a club and many more reasons. Hundreds, thousands of reasons motivated us Ex-Christadelphians to un-convert and they were all the WRONG reasons.
Not "wrong" in the sense that they were untrue; those were the true and real reasons why all we Christadelphians either converted or un-converted. But they were wrong in the sense that in theory no one should either convert or un-convert for any of those different trivial reasons.
And I'll tell you another thing: None of us; not ONE of us, either Christadelphians or Ex-Christadelphians have the nerve to own up to the truth that we either converted or un-converted for a trivial reason.
Once we have either converted or un-converted we post-hoc rationalise what we have done in order to satisfy our own selves that we made the right decision for the right reason. If the human mind did not do that it would suffer cognitive dissonance and be under stress. So we fantasise sensible explanations for our conversion or un-conversion and after we have convinced ourselves that we did the right thing for the right reason our mind is at peace and we try to convince others that that is what happened even though it is not true.
We are all as bad as each other. Christadelphians and Ex-Christadelphians are no different. I have met and known thousands of you and your minds all operate exactly the same way and I am not better than you. We all behave stupidly about going into and out of our religion. We lie to ourselves and we lie to each other. I have never ever met a Christadelphian or Ex-Christadelphian who did not behave exactly as I have explained. The majority of both fellowships will not agree with me and they will be convinced that they converted/un-converted for sensible reasons because they have made a great job of fooling themselves.
If anyone of another religion or who has left another religion is reading this, I can assure you that you are exactly the same. You converted or un-converted for a silly, emotional, ultimately trivial reason that makes no sense at all set against the eschatology of your religion.
That is why all faith based religions believe irrational things; because we don't convert for rational sensible reasons. Therefore it really does not matter how irrational our religion is, because we convert for irrational reasons anyway, so cares what we believe?
But we un-converted are also just as bad as the converted because we also left for trivial reasons. We may not believe irrational things, but the reasons why we don't believe them make no more sense than the reasons why people do believe them. We are all as daft as each other.
So there you go; I have written an article that not a single one of my readers will agree with. I have offended you all. Now not only will my beloved Christadelphians despise me, but also my beloved Ex-Christadelphians will hate me for what I have written. People of other religions will also reject what I have said and I've even upset myself because I have reminded myself that I also fooled myself. I only wish that someone had told me this before I was baptised in 1967 or resigned in 1986. Neither action made any sense; it's just the way things worked out.
Wake up everyone; we are not half as clever as we think that we are. Once you realise that truth you are on the road to becoming seriously clever. You will have accepted the way that your mind works and you might be able to train it to behave itself.
- But somehow I doubt it!