WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LOSE YOUR CHRISTADELPHIAN FAITH?

This is the most frequent question that I am asked by Christadelphians:

"What is it like to lose your Christadelphian faith?"

Almost every week I get two or three asking that same question. Someone called me this evening and asked. I could tell that there was concern in their tone.


This article is my answer to that caller.

Losing your Christadelphian faith can be awful. It is almost always traumatic and it can be a very deep emotional shock to someone who is departing the faith. It is almost always destructive to a marriage and often fatal. In such cases the children also suffer from the fallout of a parent leaving the religion.

One might be tempted to say that it's not worth all the upset; but it does not work that way. Like a gangrenous leg it can't remain or things will get worse. Whatever the pain, it has to be sawn off and the patient will eventually get better and be glad that it happened. But it can take an awfully long time to get to the "glad that it happened" part. I mean .............. years.

Christadelphians do believe a lot of weird things, and believing all that stuff does make our head dysfunctional. Readjusting back to normality is not easy. You think that you are losing your eternal salvation, resurrection, the Kingdom eternal life and eternal bliss. Of course you are not really "losing" anything at all because it was never going to happen anyway. But that was our overriding motivation to commit to the religion and when the payoff disappears it is very real and upsetting.

We also lose the close support and social friendship of our brethren and sisters. Make no mistake; you are going to lose it no matter how strong you thought previous friendships were. Christadelphians believe a lot of seriously crazy stuff and deep, deep down they know it. I knew it when I was a Christadelphian, although I never admitted it to myself. But when you leave, you realise that you did know, somewhere in the deep recesses of your brain, that all the living for eternity stuff was lunacy. And it is mad. We were just kidding ourselves and right now sixty thousand Christadelphians are kidding themselves that it is real. Watch them weeping at Christadelphian funerals and you will see that they are not convinced that the dead will rise. They hope that they will, but if they seriously believed it, they would not behave the way that they do in their everyday lives.

So when you leave, you are presenting a serious challenge to the faith of those who remain. Deep down most of them know that the whole thing is just a house of cards. They know that you have seen through the delusion; you have figured out the trick. They know that you are laughing at them. So they become offended and hurt. Hurt produces anger and before long you are going to feel that anger from relatives and past friends. It's not nice. It's really bad. But that is how it is going tt be.

It seems cruel to Christadelphians that we should laugh at them and they will write harsh comments at the end of this article as they splutter their offence at what I am saying. But when you mix with Ex-Christadelphians either in person or on Internet forums, that is the common theme. You laugh together at the absurdity of it all. Once the spell is broken and you manage to get the religion out of your head, you realise that it's not merely a question of the Christadelphians being wrong; but they are so hugely, globally, cosmically, universally mistaken. You have to smile about the whole thing. You laugh at yourself for being an idiot and you laugh at the Christadelphians with their funny little ways, making mountains out of every little molehill that comes their way and even disfellowshiping people who don't play by their ridiculous rules.

But above all you laugh at yourself. And that leads to shame that you acted so foolishly. The whole thing is very upsetting and a deep shock to the mind.

An important point that I emphasise to people who ask about these things is that there is no hurry. You can't stop the process once it commences, but you don't have to rush it either. If you are going to become an Atheist nothing really matters anyway.

After I resigned from fellowship I still fulfilled a few speaking dates that I had forgotten about, because I did not want to let ecclesias down at the last minute. I was giving exhortations and lectures about something in which I no longer believed. Even this very day as I type this article thirty years after my resignation, I have agreed to the reprinting of some of the Christadelphian preaching booklets that I authored all those years ago. I must be the only Christadelphian alive who is working to both strengthen the religion and knock it down at the same time!

I don't care. There is no God watching and I live in a Universe that is indifferent to what I do. If I let them reprint those booklets or not, ultimately it does not matter. I am committed to admirable morality and high ethical standards in all that I do. But that is just my choice. I like being that way. But if I decided instead to become a serial killer, the Universe would not mind one little bit.

Therefore there is not hurry to leave the Christadelphians. Take as long as you want. Your brain will drive you out of the faith when the right time comes.

But don't kid yourself that it is going to be easy.

It's not.

Years later, when you have gotten over it all it is magnificent. It's the best thing in the World to have an unshackled mind. I would not swap it for anything and I would willingly go through it all a million times again if I had to.

But it would be hard.

I had to go through it all alone thirty years ago. I was alone in a one bed roomed apartment in a run down area of my city. My family and Christadelphian friends were turned against me. I was deep in debt after a ruinous divorce. My business was struggling. My mind was confused about my religious beliefs as I struggled to comprehend what was happening inside my head. A bottle of whiskey was my friend and I was mixing with bad company; because all that my Christadelphian friends wanted to do was to convert me back into their foolish religion. I wasn't having that.

But you who are leaving now are not alone. Because of what I suffered back then, I am motivated to help any and all of you brave souls who are currently exiting the religion. Wherever you live in the World, you can write to me, or email me or video meet with me on Skype and I will be there for you. I can put you in touch with many others who have either left or are leaving the religion. If you live in Melbourne Australia, or visit, you can come round to our family home for a meal and a chat. If you are a sister I can put you in touch with sisters who have left. Or if you prefer you can meet up somewhere and buy me a curry and I'll buy you a beer and we can discuss where you go from here.

If you are leaving the religion, this website is your resource. We are here to serve you and to try to ease your pain. There is no other reason for our existence.

I'm not an Ex-Christadelphian. I changed my mind. I'm a Christadelphian Atheist. I resigned from fellowship, but you can't resign from being a Christadelphian. Duncan Hester is right. It's impossible. So I am still your brother. I'm not your brother in Christ, because I don't believe all that now. But I am still your brother.

I love you Christadelphians because you are my family religion. I can't stand the daft way you all go on and I would never enter an ecclesial hall, as I have not done for the past thirty years. But I love every last one of you and I'd do anything for you.

So if anyone wants help to exit, I am here for you.

If anyone is in favour of deep reform within the religion, I will support you.

But if you like the status quo .......... No - I'm not up for that. :)




If you are thinking of leaving, watch the video below, enjoy one of my favourite songs and think carefully about its words; because it's all about losing your faith.


Who Wants to Live for Ever?
Sung by Sarah Brightman



 It's very sad my beloved brethren and sisters and I wish that it were otherwise, but it is not. I'm telling you the Truth.

And the Truth is: "This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us."

There is nothing more to say.

 

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