I wanted to type all of this out. If I had the time, I would, but I know that people wouldn’t read it. But this is the part I really want people (especially Christians, and most especially Christians who knew me before) to hear this part:
Christians can acknowledge many ways a person can become an ex-Christian, except for one. Except for the most genuine: a broken Christ-follower who desperately tries to not become an atheist, but is finally forced to accept that the message of Christianity, that Christ died for your sins, that you are defective by your nature, corrupt and lost without God, is not true.
And if that happened to you, would that be your fault? Or would that make your life an involuntary testimony to the poverty of Christianity? What would that mean about other Christians, and what would it mean to those you care about? What if you were 21, and thought you were the only one?
I know the reactions of people who are in the Church to people like me – they assume I (or we) am some misguided youth who didn’t have the courage of her convictions. They believe I was never really a Christian at all. That’s not true. I believed in God. I believed in Jesus – that He loved me and died for me, and that I owed him love and gratitude and all the days of my life because of that. I believed it. I believed I had a relationship with Christ. The realisation that it simply wasn’t true was one I spent years trying to deny. I read every book I could get my hands on, spent hours on the internet, and many, many anguished hours in prayer.
And I have no faith, but it’s all I want
– from Waste of Paint by Bright Eyes
I can’t explain what I lost, or what it cost me to lose what I did. I didn’t seek to lose it. I honestly sought after goodness and truth, and didn’t find it where I’d been taught to find it. But my love of the truth meant that I couldn’t run from this realisation. I feel – like the video’s speaker does – that I lost my faith against my will.
Silence becomes more profound in the stunned moments after a sudden noise, as the reverence of frailty blurs the line between missing sound and the emotion of silence…
EDIT: The quote is taken from the sixth video in the playlist.