I received this email late last night from a man we will call Greg. Greg is an ex-Christian who gives his reasons why he left Christianity. Since I deal with this on an ongoing basis with you all, I thought I would share it with you and get your thoughts.
Mr. Patton, I am a a regular listener to Theology Unplugged and a 26 year old ex-Christian who is continuing to struggle with truth and God. I’d like to give my top three reasons for loosing faith and we can go from there if you have time.
1. God isn’t so cruel as to create man with a self-destructive nature, send him into a dark and depressing world to withstand natural disasters, war and disease to send him to eternal torture for doing exactly what his God-made nature has led him to do.
2. The New Testament authors regularly misquote Old Testament scripture and take it out of context in favor of a Christological understanding.
3. For 9 months straight when I was going through my deconversion I was struggling to hold on to my faith but things just weren’t making sense to me. I would wake up early in the morning, read the Bible and desperately pray to God. I asked for truth, clarity and understanding. I would sit in silence and just wait for God to speak to me. I would pray and think about God, truth and my faith all day. It took over my life and caused me great anxiety to the point where I became chronically depressed and my relationship with my wife was greatly effected as well. Throughout the very painful 9 months God was absolutely silent. I received no comfort, no peace and no answer. Finally, I told myself that if God isn’t answering me then maybe this isn’t the most important thing for me to be thinking about in life.
My purpose in life is now to do good, fight evil and develop close relationships with good people. I still obtain my understanding of good and evil from the Bible and I plan on sending my kids to a Christian school. I attend church regularly and I am also planning on joining Surfers for Christ, a Christian fellowship of surfers who provide a wide variety of services to the community. I still value Christianity because I think it is the best producer of good people.
How would you respond?