I have a couple of related links for you today that tell a story, and both concern people who made the leap from being a deeply devoted believer to atheist. I often find such stories interesting, because I am always curious to understand what makes people tick and why such transitions take place, and perhaps also because I find an echo within my own life; having once been very religious, over a lengthy period of time I also managed to think my way out.
Story 1 – Joe Young
Joe has written up his story and posted it to News24 (a popular South African news site). He starts out by explaining …
I was a firmly devoted Christian for 30+ years before becoming an atheist and this is my story.
…As long as I can remember I had always believed in God and the inerrant truth of the bible and I believed it with all of my heart and mind. There was no question that God existed and that my eternal life was secured in heaven.
… how did I end up an atheist?! Well in summary there a number of influences that led to my de-conversion but for the purposes of this testimony I’ll just talk about a three of them. The first was my “inability” to hear God’s voice, the second was appreciating the validity of science over my faith in biblical claims, and the third was discovering the who, what, when and how of the bible. When I failed to get answers from God (despite much honest ardent prayer), my religious barriers broke down and I lost my faith. The rest of this testimony tells that story, but suffice to say it was one of the most amazing, liberating and rewarding experiences of my life. I’m more in awe of nature, more in awe of us, and more appreciative of this life than ever before.
It is a long rewarding read, with a good outcome and so seeing how he slowly made the transition from young earth creationist who was reading answers-in-genesis on a daily basis, all the way out to a science loving non-believer is indeed quite fascinating, I highly recommend it.
He also ends with a few great tips …
My new favourite website is http://wiki.ironchariots.org and I’d highly recommend any Christians to read the articles to understand what counterarguments atheists will use, it’s the least you can do. After all, many atheists have – read the bible, done the Alpha course, read www.icr.org, answersingenesis.org etc, read Stephen Meyer’s books, watched William Lane Craig debates etc. As always, atheists are happy to discuss.
Finally just a big thank you to all the atheists out there who slowly convinced me… from those who spoke to me personally to the likes of all of you on Mynews24 – keep up the good posts and comments, they are changing peoples lives.
As an aside, yes a few believers turned up within the many many comments his posting generated with the usual rather silly arguments. I would add that it may be tempting to skip long articles, but this one is well worth reading, I highly recommend it.
Story 2 – The Shaughnessys
This is another long article, but once again is well worth investing the time in.
..the Shaughnessys were Catholic. They herded their children to Mass on Sundays and celebrated the sacraments, mostly. While Charlotte taught at the parish school and Harry started a computer consulting business, they tried, for the most part, to follow the church’s doctrines.
But one day a question cracked the foundation of Harry’s faith, and the fissure slowly widened until the walls shivered and the roof shook and the whole damn house fell down. Like most demolitions, it caused a disturbance
I’ll not spoil it and let you read the rest, and this is interesting, not just because it tells a reconversion story, but is also the saga of how their parents and others in their extended family related and coped.
Both quite encouraging stories about people who (if you will forgive the religious language) left the darkness behind and found freedom and new life.