My guest this week is Sarah. Sarah is a co-author of the book “Still Unbelievable!” She is a regular poster on the Unbelievable? discussion boards. Sarah has a unique blend of down to earth perspective and an intellectual rigor.
In some respects, it is like being skinned alive layers of belief are being pulled away.
Sarah grew up a Christian. She was a part of the Shepherding Movement which is now considered a cult. She has moved from the Anglican church, to (British) Baptist, and then to Charismatic Vineyard churches. Until she began to research her own faith. What she found was an utter lack of evidence and a confusing morass of conflicting information.
You are giving god CPR. You really are trying to keep it alive with the best intentions
She describes her search for validation as “going forensic” as she studied apologetics, philosophy, cosmology and evolution. Ultimately, she could not keep god on “life support” and she is now an agnostic.
Love is a good way to live your life. Love is the point. We’ve only got this present moment. That is all we know for certain.
My guest this week is Stephen Barry. Stephen was a Seventh Day Adventist who deconverted while attending college studying theology. When he was exposed to other ideas and other people even within his own faith tradition, this small amount of scrutiny led to deconversion.
I was waiting for that … something; fasting and praying, ask and you shall receive.
After losing the community of the black church, Stephen has found secular community. Though he notes we have a long way to go to be more inclusive of people of color in the secular community.
No voice is going to tell you the meaning of life, you need to go out there and make your own meaning.
Stephen is a musician and a music critic. He blogs about this love of music with great insight on Tublr. We discuss explicitly spiritual music and how we interpret it post-deconversion.
Now I am just more comfortable being who I authentically am.
My guest today is Fred. Fred is a relatively new deconvert who is not entirely out as a non-believer. He has told his son, but no other family members including his wife. Fred grew up Catholic then his family discovered charismatic Catholicism. He has moved through various charismatic protestant churches during his adult life. He still participates in church with his family.
Fred grew up in the ’80s and lived through the Satanic panic, D&D panic and the Evangelical fear of Rock and Roll.
While studying anti-cult apologetics against Mormonism and Scientology, Fred experienced the outsider test for faith. He began to question his faith which did not stand up to scrutiny.
“Anyone who wants you to think that you can stand on the strength of your faith and get what you want is placing a burden on you because so many times what you really wish for will not come true and you will blame yourself.”
My guest today is Erik Carlson. Erik is a secular humanist and an atheist. His background in the sciences and biology led him to question his young Earth creationist and Calvinist faith tradition. Discovering his sexuality led him to question the morality of his John Piper inspired Christianity. All of which culminated in deconversion.
Erik’s humanism is evident in his focus on loving people over ideology. He is hopeful for his generation’s ability to make positive change in the world from the secular, scientific and political perspectives. And he has good advice for those in the process of coming out: “Protect yourself, do it in your own timing.”
Sassy Atheist is on the show. Sassy has a YouTube channel where she honestly describes her deconversion and her earnest desire to help others through the process. Hear her heart breaking story of a broken relationship with a loved one because of her deconversion.
Sassy’s search for truth included Episcopalianism, Catholicism, Evangelicalism and eventually atheism. She also was on a search for community which she is now finding in the atheist community. Sassy exemplifies the themes of the podcast: deconversion, Secular Grace and brutal self honesty.
[To god] Just do something to tell me that you are here and that you know that I am in pain.
Today’s show is a Deconversion (not so) Anonymous episode. In these episodes, people like you who have gone through a faith transition can tell your story either anonymously or in all your glory. It is your choice. If you would like to tell your faith transition story anonymously or otherwise get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @GracefulAtheist on Twitter.
On today’s episode, Amanda Holloway is on the show. Amanda is months into her deconversion. Things began to unravel watching the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during the Kavanaugh hearings. This brought up her #MeToo past and she bravely reached out for help in a time of crisis. Ultimately this process led to her deconversion. She tells her story with exceptional honesty and forthrightness. She describes finally being accepted for who she is and continues to discover things about herself without the constraints of Christianity.
This episode deals with serious adult topics including sexual abuse, childhood neglect and thoughts of suicide. Please plan accordingly.
On today’s episode, my guest is Matt Cook from Toronto Canada. Matt was a former evangelical missionary to Pakistan and a preacher who lost his faith about six years ago. Matt is not your typical deconvert. He calls himself religious but not spiritual. Several years after deconversion, Matt chose to live a year “Christianly.” During that year he prayed, he read the bible daily, he went to church and practiced other spiritual disciplines. Although, it did not change his mind he has found continued value in these disciplines and practices some of them to this day.
In the show we discuss the possibility of becoming a humanist chaplain (or celebrant or officiant), if you are interested in exploring that role or if you are looking for a humanist celebrant to officiate a wedding, dedication or funeral find the humanist organization for your country. In the US, it is the American Humanist Society. In Canada, it is Humanist Canada. Wikipedia lists more organizations.
On this episode, Susan from Scotland tells us how she grew up Presbyterian but began to ask hard questions at a very early age. She felt empathy for those who were different from herself and recognized a lack of empathy in the church leaders. Ultimately, she deconverted in her twenties and now lives with intellectual honesty, empathy and compassion on the other side of faith.