10 Reasons Why

I wonder what are the reasons those of you who were once Christians gave up on faith? Believers who know me far better than I know myself have attributed to me a whole range of motivations. Here’s a top ten of the reasons I rejected Jesus according to these spiritually astute know-it-alls:

In at 10 it’s…

You must have been hurt/had a bad experience of Christians. To which I answer, not particularly, though I did find the people I encountered in churches to be much like those I encountered in any other organisation I’ve been involved with. No different. Certainly no better, and in some ways worse when they squabbled or were petty and judgemental. Not sufficiently worse to make me abandon faith, but perhaps enough to make me ask whether Christianity really ‘worked’. Shouldn’t Christians who are new creatures, reformed in the image of Christ. be so much better than the rest of us?

At 9… You went to the wrong church. If so I must’ve attended several ‘wrong’ churches as I moved around the north of England with work. My wife and I always sought out churches with sound biblical teaching, so it wasn’t the lack of solid food that caused me to backslide (to use the Christian jargon.)

8. You wanted to wallow in your own sin. As I’ve said facetiously before, I like a good wallow as much as the next man and preferably with him. Back in the days of my struggling with faith, however, I didn’t find myself drawn to ‘sin’. I was trying to raise three children, do a demanding job and deal with the fallout from my boss’s affair with a colleague. My own sin was the last thing on my mind.

Related to this is the accusation that an apostate such as I wants, in some unfathomable way, to be God. Certainly I want to be fully human and to take charge of my own life, but aren’t these laudable intentions? It doesn’t mean I aspire to be God; I don’t want to be worshipped, don’t want to laud it over others, blame them for my deficiencies or send them to hell. That’s what God does, right? But it’s not me. 

7. You rejected Christ because you’re gay and didn’t like the constraints faith placed on your sexual behaviour. See above. I didn’t admit I was gay until several years after I ditched faith and it was several more after that before I came out, yet more until I did anything about it. But okay, if you want to reverse the order of events, I gave up on religion because I was latently gay. But not really, though certainly the abandonment of faith was a liberation; I could think for myself and was free, over a long period of time, to finally become myself.

6. You read the wrong books. I certainly did: C. S. Lewis (I still have my collection of his books), John Stott, John Piper, John Bunyan, Bonhoeffer, Joni Erickson, Corrie Ten Boom, Billy Graham, David Wilkerson… and the Bible. So yes, I wasted a lot of time reading this sort of thing, but I’m guessing that’s not what my Christian accusers mean. I read more widely as I moved away from faith which helped me break out of the Christian bubble, but this wasn’t the reason I left the faith. I was well on the way by this time.

5. You were never a true Christian. Your faith was intellectual or habit or emotional but not deeply personal. Of course I was a true Christian. Just ask Jesus. Oh… you can’t. I’ve written about this before as you’ll see here. I was as real a Christian as those who claim they’re the real deal now.

4. You were in thrall to non-Christian writers. Not in thrall, no, but these writers – Ehrman, the so-called New Atheists, science writers (Dawkins’ science books particularly), Pagels, Barker, Loftus, Alter and, yes, Carrier – make a lot more sense than those who write from the perspective of faith. These authors don’t seem to mind, indeed they relish that their readers think critically about the evidence they present. Mumbo-jumbo isn’t passed off as erudition.

3. You have no awareness of the spiritual; you think that only that which can be measured is real. This is true, but it is not why I gave up Christianity. It is a consequence of doing so. I have seen no evidence of a spiritual realm that exists outside the human imagination. If anyone is able to present evidence that it does have independent existence, I’m open to it. Until then I will continue to live with the understanding that angels, devils, demons, heaven, hell, celestial saviours and gods, like unicorns, dragons and Shangri-La, do not exist. It follows that as non-existent beings they cannot communicate with us nor await us as our final destination.

2. Your heart has been hardened by Satan. See above; there is no Satan. Hardening of the heart is a metaphor for those who don’t fall prey to Christianity’s fraudulent claims or at last see through them.

1. You gave up on faith because you realised none of it was true. Yes. Finally. This is why I rejected Christianity. It simply isn’t true, as I’ve attempted to demonstrate on this blog for the last 12+ years. Its third-rate fantasies, fake promises and failed prophecies are all evidence of its falsity.

But wait. None of the telepathic Christians who ‘know’ why I’m no longer a believer ever make this accusation. They would never concede that most (all) of what they believe simply isn’t true. But my life experience and my reading as I began to suspect Christianity was nothing more than a con have borne this out. Christianity is demonstrably untrue, theChristian God a fraud and supernatural-Jesus a fiction. This is why I abandoned Christianity.

How about you?


32 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why

  1. I always love the reason that asserts the atheist ( apostate, non-believer) just wants to sin with no accountability.
    Probably why I avoided religion altogether; so I could run around raping, robbing banks, murdering, and even supporting Liverpool Football club.
    Aaah, what a vile sinner I am!
    In truth, what little exposure to religion I had simply bored me to tears.
    I got married in a church simply because it was the done thing. Had I been aware that one could have a civil wedding ( but not simply in a registry office) I would have jumped at the suggestion. The innocence( Ignorance) of youth!
    No matter, the Cathedral was fabulous even if the God Stuff simply went over my head.

    The only individuals I am personally aware of who are remotely religious are my mother and my brother in law, and the latter never goes to church but always listen to mass on a Sunday in the cab of his truck, wherever in Europe he happens to be delivering.

    I don’t actually know of anyone personally ( excluding blog pals) who deconverted.
    If me and mine and those I know are anything to go by Christianity is on a hiding to nothing as far as further recruitment goes!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I really do not think so. I read the blog you linked – from 2014, I think – and I wondered about several things.

        1) you wrote about several of the ‘perks’ you enjoyed, the cozy feeling of Jesus loving you, of being ‘saved.’ You wrote about the sub-culture that was enjoyable, and so on. But you did not write about deep personal prayer, meditation on God’s word, or interaction with God. Yet Paul says that we are children of God in an intimate relationship with him and that this is confirmed by the Holy Spirit. He says we can interact with God as our dear Father – “Abba.”

        you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
        The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God”
        (Romans 8:15,16)

        2) You did not write about any real deep change in life, yet that is the Christian experience and a mark of being a Christian. You did not write about a personal desire to keep his commandments or about progress in holiness or any wrestling with God over holiness, only “anxiety.” Yet that is what John says we will experience.

        One who says, “I know him,” and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. But God’s love has most certainly been perfected in whoever keeps his word. (1st John 2:4,5)

        You wrote “Sometimes I miss my religion.” And I wonder if that was all you experienced … religion. I say seriously as a friend, there is more.

        I don’t write these things to condemn. I see in what you wrote a beginning that was not completed. And I am sad. I have known others, friends who started well but did not press on into the relationship with God that they could have enjoyed. They got derailed by doubts or seduced by sin or what the world offers. (You remember the parable of the seed and the sower.) But the last chapter is not written yet. There is a way back. But please, never be satisfied with religion.


      • By the certainty of His promised that whoever comes to Him He will not be cast out, by the inner testimony of the Holy Spirt that I am a child of God, and by the work God has done in my life in overcoming sin and progress toward holiness.


      • Yes, me too, despite what you say in your other comment. I’d add I also knew I was a Christian by my worship of Jesus and my thirst for his word (which I notice you don’t mention.)

        I guess, however, that you know best when it comes to my past ‘relationship’ with God. Since when did he set you up as arbiter of others’ faith?

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are right, Neil, I am not an arbitrator of anyone’s faith. Like I said, I am not condemning. I am only wondering.

        You are not alone. There are others who have left Christianity for atheism. I have had friends who have done so. And I wonder why. I have encountered the same doubts as all of you, and I pushed through those and found my faith on firmer ground than before. Looking back, those doubts were good for me; I’ve come to believe that a faith untried is a faith on an unfirm foundation.

        There is no one-size-fits-all. Each person has their own issues, doubts and struggles with faith. But It seems to me and from my experience that doubt comes in several variations. There is emotional doubt. I’ve experienced that. It passes as every emotion does. There is intellectual doubt – things just don’t add up. I did the work to figure it out and came out satisfied that the problems had answers or were not as important as some thought they were. (Evolution was one of those that turned out to be a non-issue. But it caused me serious doubt for a couple of years.)

        The third kind of doubt is willful doubt. It is that kind of doubt that seems to be the thing that turns Christians into adversaries of Christianity. I can see looking back how that was a temptation at several points in my experience. It was for me the attraction to things and lifestyles that were clearly at odds with faith. I have to say that I believe now that a choice to reject faith for the life that looked so appealing then would have been totally destructive. I am thankful that the Lord (the Spirit) kept me from that kind of stupidity.

        What I did find, having experienced doubt on those levels and for several years, was that it did not put God off. He continued to love me and draw me back. And coming back from that doubt resulted in a deeper experience with God and a humility that made me the more thankful for God;’s faithfulness to me even when I was not faithful to him. I hope that for you.


      • I was not presenting this as “evidence.” I was explaining how I know I am a Christian and how others may know they are Christians. And that was in reply to Neil, who said he had once been a Christian.

        Feeling. Yes, I thought you might have a little trouble with that. It is not really an easy word to pin down. However, if you mean emotions, emotions are usually a response to external stimuli. When I am moved to wonder (an emotion) at a particularly beautiful sunset, was it not the sunset that was the stimulus?

        When I said I felt perfectly at peace while in the ICU and aware that I could die at any time, what was the stimulus? Nothing in my external circumstance would have reasonably have caused me peace.

        When I have a sense of God’ presence or a “feeling” that God has spoken to me about a particular thing. what might have caused that sense of his presence? One answer is obviously that God was present in a special way.

        When I have a sense of joy and gratitude and a great deal of humility at being a child of God and am moved to respond to God with, “Abba,” what stimulus caused that feeling?

        It could have been too much pizza the night before, but there wasn’t even that. So what?


      • “One answer is obviously that God was present in a special way.”

        See? This is the thing, Don. It is entirely your chosen preference that some unseen entity exists outside yourself. Sure, we all can have intrinsic feelings about sunsets and children playing and even death, but that’s all they are. Emotional reactions to actual objects or proven events.

        Let’s take this a step further. -IF- your god is real and speaks to you, why can’t others around you hear the voice? Oh yeah. It’s all in your head.


        Liked by 1 person

      • God does speak to all. I think Psalm 19 adequately describes that, and says there is no speech or language where his voice is not heard. So, if you are looking for objective evidence of God, that is the place to start. But I’ve gone over that multiple times before.

        If God is personal – and not only does the objective evidence of God imply that but the scriptures declare it, which scriptures btw are the collected experiences of men who interacted with God and had him speak to them – then why would we not expect him to speak personally to us? Not in our “head” btw but in our heart. There is a difference.

        [ I know when I hear “voices” in my head. They are usually my voice doing self-talk. Hearing God’s voice in my heart is a far different experience. ]

        So why do not all hear? The prophets in the OT explained that by saying their ears were dull. Jesus explained it by saying they would not hear, even when they heard him, they would not hear. They were like the hard path on which the seed of the word fell. It found no place to take root, and the birds came along and ate it.

        So, to be perfectly plain, people do not hear because they at some level choose not to. Those who chose to listen do hear.


      • Don, you hear things in your HEART???? Wow. You must really be special.

        In seriousness, don’t you find it rather odd that believers like yourself rely on a written word to HEAR a voice? (And BTW, last I knew, the “heart” has no auditory functions.)

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think I remember that you spent some time as a Christian, Nan. Surely in that time you came to understand that “heart” is simply another way of saying spirit. I’ll try to confine myself to spirit from now on.

        Yes, we do hear God speak to our spirit as we read. Not always. Sometimes I read for information. Many times I simply read. But sometimes God zeros in on a particular idea or verse. (A friend used to describe this as having the words stand out from the page.) When that happens it is not an audible voice. Though others may speak of it as audible. It is not a voice in my head. It is a strong impression that speaks to my spirit. But God does “speak” in clearly understood ideas or thoughts. It is not just a feeling, though feelings often follow.

        That you and Neil do not understand the difference between a voice in your head or between God speaking to our spirit and feelings tells me that you never had that experience.


      • No, it’s just the same. The same as ours, the same as every other religious zealot who thinks God speaks to their ‘spirit’. You underestimate the ingenuity of the human mind as well as its capacity to delude itself.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Don:
        “[ I know when I hear “voices” in my head. They are usually my voice doing self-talk. Hearing God’s voice in my heart is a far different experience. ]”

        Nan is correct, your heart pumps blood…your hear with your ears and those sounds are interpreted by your brain. If someone hears outside voices talking to them, we usually say they are mentally unbalanced.
        Your xtian double-speak has you sounding silly.

        “Like I said, I am not condemning. I am only wondering.”
        Yes you are condemning!

        I’m going to ask again:
        What is a repeatable, falsifiable mechanism to hear from god?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Don:
        “(Evolution was one of those that turned out to be a non-issue. But it caused me serious doubt for a couple of years.)”
        So you’re admitting that for a couple of years you were wrong about your god creating everything, and now you admit that after examining your reasons and contrasting them with reality, you realized that YOU WERE WRONG!

        When are you going to admit that about god speaking to you now?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Don:
        “That you and Neil do not understand the difference between a voice in your head or between God speaking to our spirit and feelings tells me that you never had that experience.”

        Haha! Of course we’ve had the experience, we just realized that we were mistaken…we were indoctrinated into believing that the experience was real!
        We came out the other side, and you’re still stuck inside!
        It must really scare you to talk to ex-xtians like us…you’re still tying yourself in knots trying to make your old book fit into today’s world, and we’ve realized it’s worthless.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I asked for a mechanism to detect the voice of god, and you say
        Are you kidding me? That might work for your Sunday school, but I’m actually asking a serious question.
        You obviously have no answer.

        You’re scared, aren’t you Don?

        Liked by 1 person

      • And I am giving you a serious answer. It is the answer that every person who makes a habit of listening and hearing from God would give you. It is why Jesus said, “he who has ears let him hear.”

        Or you could try this while standing on your head if you like, but that is not required.


  2. I pretty much laid out the reasons in my book. 😁 And this is not meant to be a “plug.” I really did examine and discount all the arguments that believers use to defend their faith. And IMO, any believer that has the “guts” to look beyond the (biased) sermons and teachings of Christianity will discover exactly what I did.

    But of course, they won’t.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.