A trend I’ve seen among many no-longer Christians is that they have a bad experience with a church or specific pastor, impute that misconduct to God Himself and thus leave the faith. While I fully empathize with people encountering bad apples in them church boxes, it’s an obvious category error to accuse God of what Man has done.
Buzzfeed has helpfully collected 26 examples of people who quit Christianity as part of their latest anti-Christ media blitz. Most of the examples are people who’d already abandoned Christ spiritually before the incident they describe but there are some interesting cases.
Former Christians Are Sharing The Turning Points That Made Them Leave The Faith, And They Did Not Hold Back
Buzzfeed staff c/o yahoo.com, 4 December 2021
We recently asked the former Christians of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what was their turning point to leave the religion. Here are some of their insightful stories:
1.”The breaking point for me was when the pastor of the church I was attending went on a rant about abortion and ended it with ‘The holocaust that is currently happening in the United States makes it look like Hitler was playing in the sandbox!'”
“After picking my jaw up off the floor, I got up and left and never looked back.”
We start with an easy one. “God cannot be real if He doesn’t want babies being killed for Mommy’s convenience.”
2.”I grew up in an EXTREMELY religious Roman Catholic household and right after my first suicide attempt, I had woken up in the hospital after being unconscious. My parents were sitting in the room and instead of comforting me or saying absolutely anything my father just said, ‘You do know suicide is a sin? If you had been successful, you would’ve been in hell.'”
“I was 15. That was the moment that I realized I will never believe in God or any organized religion again.”
This one is more respectable, a girl quitting Christ because of what she was told about Christ. But there’s still that “I will never believe in God or any organized religion again” line. “I reject Ganesha because Christ is a meanie” is a multilevel cognitive failure.
Sometimes I wonder about the extent to which other people have only an emotional understanding of reality.
3.”A priest told me that the reason I developed an autoimmune condition was because I wasn’t living a life free from sin and it was my punishment. He said one of those sins was wearing a short skirt (not in church) because I was tempting men to have impure thoughts. Bye-bye church.”
If the autoimmune condition was HIV then the priest was totally right, and this is the Buzzfeed community. Just sayin’.
4.”I attended church as a teenager and among the many, many issues I had with them, there were two final straws for me which made me leave the Christian belief system. First was when the youth leaders locked me in a room and yelled at me for losing my virginity.”
Harsh but fair. Punishment for irresponsible behavior is appropriate. If it saves just one life then it’s worth doing!
“The second was when they organized a church get-together which involved a two-hour ‘motivational talk’ from a ‘reformed homosexual’ who basically told everyone that being gay is a death sentence. That killed it for me because there could have been kids there looking for guidance and acceptance being in that situation and you’ve just told them they should die.”
Every time a Sodomite ragequits the church, an angel gets its wings.
5.”When I got pregnant at 16, most of my church turned their backs on me. My decision to leave the faith was further confirmed when I realized that they knew about the child abuse my siblings and I were subjected to yet did nothing.”
Accusing a church of covering up child abuse has become the “disabled Vietnam vet” of the religious world. This account is doubly suspicious because she’s accusing the church of noticing her sexual misconduct but not anybody else’s sexual misconduct.
“I’ve now been married for over 20 years to my husband (the father of my child), with two adult children who are amazing. I’ve exposed them to multiple religions and allowed them to make their own decisions, with neither opting to join any organized religion. Both are amazing, kind, and caring and I have no regrets.”
Sounds like she managed to baby-trap the high school quarterback. If there’s no police report then there’s no sex crime, Barbie.
6.”My spouse and I were having marital problems. I was told to go back into the house without dealing with our problems, or the pastor would excommunicate me.”
Not much to work with here. If pastor was sending a wife back to her husband on threat of excommunication then probably good, if pastor was speaking to the husband then very bad.
Either way, why blame God? Was this person expecting the church to stabilize their marriage? This is a possible source of “I quit God because bad church” thinking, if people come to Christ with the expectation of gaining a material, worldly benefit.
But if so then they were never Christian. Christ is not in the business of hiring mercenaries. If the Crucifixion was insufficient to buy our love (and that was not at all the reason Christ did it) then God could hardly be expected to go even further.
7.”The turning point for me was when I realized that my sexual assault could have been prevented if I had better understood sex and consent.”
Being taught abstinence prevented me from coming forward because I was told early on that if I had sex before marriage I was dirty and it was a sin.”
This one quit Christ because of what Christ taught. All is well.
8.”A priest told me I should only have friends who shared my faith after I told him my best friend was Jewish. I had been moving away from religion for a while, but that was the last straw.”
Normally I’d suspect an insecure Papist trying to bully the young into cultural loyalty, if not Christian loyalty, but I have a suspicion that Julie intentionally secured a Jewish BFF in order to monkeybranch away from Christianity… in which case that priest made the right call.
9.”I was born with a physical disability and was bullied continuously until high school. My parents are devout Christians and they never did anything to help me. Even when I would come home every day crying, they said that it was all part of ‘God’s plan.'”
“The bullying was even worse at church, and again, no one, not even the Bible study teachers, stepped in to stop it. When I felt suicidal in sixth grade, my parents screamed as if I were the devil and threatened to disown me. I quickly shut up after that but suffered alone in silence.”
This is a complete lie. In our modern day of victimhood, truly crippled children do not get continuously bullied by everybody for years on end. I’ll walk it back if this guy survived a NXIVM-level cult but if that was the case then why blame Christ?
10.”When I was 12, my parents sent me to a Christian summer camp for a week. The counselors always told us to talk to them if we had any questions. One night after the campfire, I told one of them that I understood sex outside of marriage was bad, but what about all the other stuff? The counselor asked me what other stuff, and I (very foolishly) explained first, second, and third base.”
“She asked me how I knew that, and I told her it from the advice section of gurl.com (doesn’t exist anymore, but it was an excellent resource for pre-teen and teen girls). Then she proceeded to go back to our cabin and tell all the other campers and counselors that I was a pervert. I had been pretty involved in our church before that, but after that I was done.”
Heh, it’s one of those “funny years later” stories. But again, why quit Christ because you went to a bad summer camp for a week? In this case, sounds like Sadie ran afoul of the local Cool Girls convention. Nothing a church change wouldn’t solve.
11.”Once COVID hit and my church actively denied science and talked about the ‘evil’ vaccines, I had to walk away completely.”
“How could leaders of a religion preach a message that was actively putting their congregation in danger and still claim to be Christians? It went against everything they claimed to believe so I realized that their beliefs weren’t real for them so why should they be real to me.”
Anonymous was a Socialist, not a Christian. Quitting Christ because of political loyalties is a strong tell.
12.”While I was visiting my parents’ rural Georgia megachurch one Easter, the pastor went off sermon for a full 20 minutes about the ‘abomination of homosexuality.’ I’m bisexual and so is my wife.”
Another angel got his wings.
13.”My Christian uncle assaulted me on and off until I was 32. I had never allowed myself to believe it actually happened because he and his wife were the whole reason I was a believer. After I told my family, they believed me and were supportive…until I told others. I shared my experiences with other survivors to support them. My Christian family freaked out.”
“They all turned on me and said it should have been kept ‘in the family’ since I had forgiven him. I do not believe there is EVER a time a victim of abuse should be quiet about it. These people still have high standing in the church and have families and children in their home who have no idea what he is. I refuse to believe their way is right. Forgiveness does not mean there aren’t consequences.”
This is exactly the sort of case I’m talking about. Why blame Christ for what a very obviously anti-Christian relative did? One easily sympathizes with that kind of traumatic experience… but the briefest perusal of Christian morality states that God will ruin and destroy that uncle in divinely-fueled, hateful rage for an eternity.
It is a terrible thing for Christians to forget/neglect the existence of Evil in this world. So many approach religion as moralistic therapeutic deism that when a time comes to lock and load, they’re paralyzed by uncertainly about how to proceed.
14.“What made me think something wasn’t right was when the church ostracized me for getting pregnant outside of wedlock, and slut shamed me. The last straw was when my religious father told me it was my fault I was abused, and punishment for my sin. I told him and evangelical Christianity to fuck all the way completely off, and never looked back.”
One vote for Daddy Knows Best.
“I grew up fundamentalist Christian. It felt like an abusive relationship. I would sin, I would be reminded what a terrible person I was, and if I begged and pleaded, God would *maybe* think about taking me back. I was also taught nothing but obedience to my parents, but especially my father. My father was God’s representative on earth, and when I got married, his authority would transfer to my husband. Then I was expected to submit unto my husband.”
Okay. “Fuck you, Daddy” is an excellent reason to reject the Father Of All. Go burn in Hell, witch, and know that ye be no loss to Mankind.
15.”My college roommate and I attended the same church as kids. I always thought it was a warm and welcoming place. However, she told me when her dad cheated on her mom, abused her, and left her to raise three kids on her own. The church made her mom feel guilty about it like it was her fault.”
Oh noes! Wifey did everything right but her husband treated her like dirt then traded her in!
Wait, why do I smell brimstone?
“They offered no support and encouraged her to take him back. It opened my eyes to the abuse and neglect of women in the faith as well as the hypocrisy.”
Skanky Mommy’s lies were not believed by her local church. Why can’t I have a good church like that?
16.”I, a white female, went to a high school dance with a Black boy. When I told my mom who was taking me to the dance, she said it was unacceptable for me to go with someone of a different race because the bible says, ‘Birds should only be with other birds and bees should only be with other bees.'”
“She used Christianity to justify her position against interracial relationships and compared people of different races like they’re different species. That was the turning point for me.”
Another Socialist ragequitting Christianity. Ironically, she quit Christ for what Christ didn’t teach before she knew enough to quit Christ for what Christ DID teach. Specifically, what Christ and Paul said about the Jews.
Maybe she couldn’t find a black Jewish boy to invite to the dance. He was probably booked by all the other feminists.
17.”My parents were getting divorced, I went to see my youth leader to ask why God wasn’t answering my prayers to just help my mom stop crying everyday. She said, ‘Well, sometimes God answers big prayers and sometimes he answers little prayers. Just yesterday I asked him to give me a front parking spot at the grocery store and I got one!'”
“It was my *come to Jesus* moment of why Catholicism is rooted in selfishness. God is there in the good times but he leaves you to your own devices in the bad? Nah.”
Again, people having an emotional understanding of Christianity as opposed to a rational understanding. Why? Divorce is not Christian.
18.”My journey to leaving was a long time coming, but the big event I can point to was the church’s response to the George Floyd protests. Their statement was full of white denial and tone policing and it didn’t sit right with me. That’s when I really started asking questions and learned about Mormonism’s true origins and all of their lies, brainwashing, and atrocities.”
“From there I started seeing those same problems with Christianity in general and once you see those things you can’t unsee them. At this point I don’t have any sort of solid belief system, but I don’t think I’ll ever go back to any sort of organized religion, but especially not Christianity.”
You DO have a solid belief system, kid. It’s called cultural Marxism and man, if you thought Mormonism is a lie (it is) then you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Maybe some people are simply blind to the truth of Christianity. God said that such people existed but I hesitate to write off anybody as unreachable. Until they cross a thick black line, anyway. You Sodomize your nephew, you don’t get forgiven.
19.”For me, it was the hypocrisy of the Christian faith. I got married outside the church and was told that it wouldn’t be recognized by God because it needed to be in the church, even though God is omnipresent? It made no sense.”
Another bald-faced lie. “There is no God because He prefers a different bureaucracy for the paperwork”?
20.”I lost my brother to cancer when he was 15 (I was 6). The response given to me was that ‘He must have been so good that God needed him in heaven.’ I then lost my father to cancer when I was 13 and on the day before his funeral, two of my teachers tried to comfort me by saying that ‘He wanted to go and be with (my brother) in heaven.'”
“What in the world made them think that was an okay thing to say to a child who had just lost her father?”
They were trying to comfort you.
“After that I called bullshit. Even if there was a God, I wanted nothing to do with them if they could do something as horrible as that to a family.”
“God was mean so I now believe only in survival of the fittest.”
21.”For me, it was how they treated my mother when my parents divorced. They placed all the blame on her. Mom wasn’t perfect, but my dad played a big part in it as well. It takes two to tango.”
Broken families are one legit way for me to square the circle of “There’s no God because He didn’t meet my expectations.” Families are supposed to be the premier way of reflecting Christ upon Humanity. Somehow, the Church has completely abandoned that notion… probably because they wanted Snowflake to feel good about her abortion.
But we keep coming back to the same place, that an emotional understanding of reality is capricious and ultimately, insane.
22.”I was 13, active in a Southern Baptist church, best friends with the preacher’s kids, never missed a youth group meeting, studied to teach Bible study when I was able, helped with VBS, the whole 9 yards. We had a ‘fall festival’ (because we can’t celebrate Halloween) with a hayride and I FELL OFF AND WAS RUN OVER. There was a whole fight with the insurance company to get bills covered and church members fighting against me while I had to reconstruct my cheek and learn to walk again.”
“When I returned to church months later, there was a ‘business meeting’ instead of service that everyone had to attend. Why would children need to be there? Because they wanted to discuss ‘removing insurance liabilities’ AKA me. At 13, I jumped up and said ‘I can fix that for ya’ and walked out of the building. I tried a couple of other churches later in my teens, but that was definitely the beginning of my distaste of organized religion.”
She literally fell off the hay wagon? Umm… no comment.
23.”I was leaning away from Christianity since I was 11 but my final turning point happened in my early 20s. Mom took me to a play being held at a church and it was mostly about what you’d expect: Various sins acted out and the sinners going to hell while the righteous going to meet Jesus. One segment though really got to me.”
“A mom was driving her teenage daughter to church and the daughter asked her mom to go to church with her to which the mom replied that she couldn’t because she had to work that day. They get hit by a car driven by some drunk boys and the boys and the mom die. The boys get dragged to the fires of hell, but then after a minute so did the mom because she chose to go to work instead of church. The daughter was crying when that happened but as soon as Jesus showed up everything was sunshine and rainbows. There was no way I could follow any religion that faults a mother for providing for her child.”
Good news, that’s not what Christ teaches… except you’re already gone.
24.”A church elder told me that my disability would disappear if I prayed harder.”
Disappointment with God is a reasonable complaint. Too many Christians, and not all are the charismatic type, promise worldly benefits that inevitably don’t come on schedule.
25.”My pastor told me I should get my act together if I wanted to amount to anything. At the time I was working around 60 hours a week and studying part time.”
“I was literally clawing my way out of poverty but because mommy and daddy weren’t loaded and I didn’t fit into the image the church wanted to portray. I never went back.”
The boldfaced is very obviously not a God problem. it’s a clergy problem.
26. And “I was conned into attending a retreat in college and one of the leaders started his little sermon about how God made everything happen for a reason, and therefore God elected Trump so if we didn’t obey Trump, we weren’t obeying God. I got up and walked out.”
Disappointment with God seems to come the closest to describing why people quit God when life issues come along. They were promised something that was not true, or they personally believed something that was not true, and upon being disappointed, didn’t stick around to look past the pain.
I don’t know what to say. That is, I am experienced in being disappointed by God and life, and I can easily give a correct theological understanding of pain and sorrow, but Disappointment is not the sort of thing that can be understood via IQ.
There have been times when I couldn’t relate to God the Platonic Form of Truth, Justice And Other Neat Stuff, too. Those times, I looked to Christ because He also lived a normal life. He cried with relatives died, he took vacations when the workload got to Him, endured toothaches and teenage awkwardness and working a job.
Emmanuel, “God with us”. Neither above nor below, but one who did His own tour in the trenches under the leadership of scumbag politicians.