A New Faith: After Christianity

I thought I needed Christianity in order to be moral, in fact it was the other way around: my innate morality drew me to Christianity. Now, post-christianity, what do I do with it?

When I left my faith I didn’t immediately start raping and murdering and punching babies in the face… as I suspected I would when I was an Evangelical. 

Sure, I started drinking more (well, anything is greater than zero), but significant parts of my Christian life remained: My priority of human connection/community, the belief that it’s a moral obligation to look after the poor and the alien… I still raise above all kindness, thankfulness, self-sacrifice…

Hence the term: Deconstruction. It means taking apart your faith, discarding the parts that don’t work, and repositioning the ones that still do. 

I started this blog “postchristianity.net” as one of my ways of defining my own deconstruction,  here is my story… 

How I came to love Jesus

As a teenager, I had a few strong desires: 1. My compulsion to do good was already strong; I needed an outlet for morality, 2. I badly wanted community and acceptance, and 3. I wanted to find stability for my mental health. 

I found all three at a local Evangelical Free youth group. I dedicated my life to Jesus in an emotional camp experience at age 16. 

I maintained this belief/idealism through college, but the inconsistencies in the theology led me to dwell on unanswered questions: Why is the church so fractured and disunified? If God is so powerful, why is it bleeding members? Why are there incredibly moral, selfless people who have no connection with Christ? Conversely how can professed Christians be so horrible, racist and selfish?… 

My belief in God’s power was eroding, and in order for me to justify my faith, I started espousing ridiculous compromises like whenever something good happens we must attribute it to God; and all bad things, including natural disasters, must be human sin. 

No matter how much I stripped away, I still believed that God had the power to sustain a loving marriage between two Christians. So I brought God into my first marriage, and apparently he didn’t have the power to save that. After five years of marriage my ex cheated on me, and after I tried to get her back she left me. 

God is Weak

This led me to the conclusion that I didn’t serve a powerful god. He can’t fight cancer, famine, or poverty among his followers, and he can’t even maintain a marriage between two believers. I’d rather worship no god than a weak and absent one. 

The divorce cut me to my core, and the simultaneous divorce from my church sent me into a tailspin of despair. I found solace in new adventures: solo international travel. 

The World Opening My Eyes 

Over the course of 18 months I visited about 30 countries, alone. Seeing the world was an excellent way to fill the voids left by my ex and the church. 

Jordan is among the best Arab nations in quelling Islamic fundamentalism

I noticed how post-Christian countries tended to be doing the best on Earth: Which countries are the most democratic? Have the most rights for women and LGBT? Access to healthcare? Access to education? Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland… All countries with a Christian past and a secular present. 

My travel abroad convinced me that there is one single force that is the most powerful agent hampering our progress as a species: Human corruption. And I found that religion is not a salve to this corruption, rather a tool that the corrupt use to control the masses. 

The MAGA Heresy

When it comes to God/religion, most regular people will say “I believe in something, but I don’t like organized religion.” I was at the opposite: I completely rejected the existence of a spiritual being of any kind, but I was fond of my time in the church; I still valued its role in bettering society. 

Any qualms I had about turning on the church changed dramatically with the election of the 45th president, mainly via the vote of Evangelicals like the ones I worshipped with. 

After four years of a person, who is obviously not Christian, using his power to corrupt Christian values like sexual purity, kindness, and helping the poor… I was appalled that the church did so little to contradict this so-called “MAGA Heresy”. 

What it confirmed for me was that this is the ugly buried core of American Evangelicalism: White people are superior, that the rich deserve favoritism before the poor, women are objects…

This amounted to a betrayal from the Evangelical Church that cut me as deeply as the betrayal from my ex-wife. 

Postchristianity

The MAGA heresy brought me to conclude that the American Church is a profoundly dangerous, threat to democracy and equality. World travel brought me to the conclusion that a secular, democratic nation, evolved from Christian morality, is what the US needs to get to. 

In other words, the world would be a better place overall if the US went faster from fundamentalist Christianity toward the postchristianity that’s found in so many successful countries around the world. Hence, my blog postchristianity.net was born. 

What I Believe Today

A society where the well-off universally sacrifice and help those who are weaker is a world where ALL benefit, including the wealthy. I believe Christ-likeness is still good, and this society I’m describing is what Jesus would want, but the current version of the church is hindering us. A society that gives more rights and favor to the poor, the alien, the queer, the female, IS more Christ-like, whether it’s done in the name of Christ or not. 

And my desire for a more just and moral society comes from an internal morality, not a mandate from a deity. My deconstruction story has thus led me to the conclusion that morality that springs naturally from within is more powerful, and must be stoked by action. 

What’s Your Story? 

Because I believe that  Christianity is holding us back, I’ve decided that it is a central goal of mine to help others deconstruct; that if I can work to help just a handful of people move away from toxic Christianity, that I would have improved the world for our children.  

Are you moving away from fundamentalism? Or are you shifting from plain moderate Christian to a more justice minded liberal one? Is your agnosticism pulling you away from your church group? Or are you a closeted non-Christian, looking for guidance? 

My goal is for others who are in the process to read and find solace and community here, and that there are many others who are with you. Please consider contributing to this blog and telling your story too. 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping me make this world a better place.

Author: postchristianity

Professional educator, musician, world traveler.

One thought on “A New Faith: After Christianity”

  1. I just now read this post on your blog. I’m not gonna lie. Some of it, a lot of it actually, made sense. I’m a Christian by my own choice. Non-denominational, whichever you prefer. I don’t follow the world’s view, social media’s view, or societies view for that matter, on how to be a Christian. I follow no one else’s path but the one I choose too and it’s mine. I was raised up going to church every time the doors were open. Sunday morning’s and Sunday night’s were always reserved just for that cause. I may sit and attend a sermon. However…just because I have chose to listen/hear what the preacher is speaking about doesn’t necessarily mean I am a follower and I automatically believe whatever the sermon may be about while I’m in attendance. I believe the Bible yes. Humans however, have the knack of describing/preaching, their own personally, distorted thoughts/views or beliefs, about the topic of choice that night. I am a FIRM believer in God. That Jesus died to save us from our sins. Again however, I have my own personal relationship with Him and I know He’s really there because I can feel it. How do I know what I’m feeling is correct? God and Jesus and I have had our personal arguments throughout the years. The biggest, most devastating thing that could ever happen to a family, happened to mine. I lived just 2 houses and 1 side street down from where my Uncle lived. That is also where my sister lived with my 2 nephews. It was March 29, 2003 and she and I had a huge argument just 2-3 days prior. I was speaking to a friend on the phone outside on my front porch that night minutes before the call to 911 was made. I saw my sister’s car parked crooked in the driveway and no one else’s vehicle was there telling me she had no company. The lights were on in the living room. I could tell because the light shown through the windows. & minutes after I walked into my house and got into the shower, was when the call to 911 was placed. In that short amount of time my uncle’s house had become a blazing inferno. It was a tinder box waiting for something to bring it down. They should never have lived there to begin with. My uncle either. It was too run down and just shot all to hell. It needed to be condemned for real. I was finally out of the shower and took my clothes to the laundry room, when I saw through the windows this house engulfed in flames. Never did I think it was my uncle’s house. Until I saw shadows of people on our shared neighbors front porch. It was then I knew it to be true. The next hour or so after me first viewing it through my window was all a blur. In the next moment I’m standing on the corner of the shared block/side street, and I am seeing my neighbor’s wife holding my 1 yr old nephew. I slowly look past her and I spot my sister on the porch with a paramedic trying to give her oxygen but he couldn’t place the mask on her face due to the burns she received from escaping to get help only to turn and run back inside to the room where it had started, to save my 2 yr old nephew, her first baby boy. He didn’t survive that night. What I saw next was one for the horror books. 2 firemen had come out the front door area, carrying at the moment what they thought was a doll. When I saw the diaper my heart bottomed out and I knew it was my nephew. They quickly hung the white sheet up. I lost it after that and pretty much only remember that night in flashes. Like bits and pieces of fragmented memory that isn’t all the way connected. So when trying to recall certain events after or things said and talked about, weren’t firing on my end. I couldn’t tell you you anything else after I had to fight for the paramedics an 2 firemen to let me go because this was my family and my son was asleep in the house right behind them. They were fixing to sedate me. I made calls to my uncle, who was at work, and my parents, and can’t tell you a single word I said. They wouldn’t be able to either because they said they couldn’t understand me. I remember hearing the engine of my fiance’s truck rumbling toward our house and just knew to follow that sound because to me it meant safety. There was all kinds of people out in the street. Wanting to see the fire for themselves and get first dibs on any information available they could catch and spread to the next person. The reason I wrote and told you all of that was just to say this. God and I have had many conversations, arguments, the times where and when I played the blame game. I was mad at him for taking the one person I cared about above anyone else, but mostly for letting a innocent baby boy, only 2 yrs old, die in such a tragic and horrific way. I “what if’d” myself to death for about the next 13-15 yrs after that. What if he woke up? Did he feel the pain I knew a fire could cause? Was he tortured to death? Did he suffer? It was many years later but I finally got my answer. I would like to finish this comment later. Maybe you could hit me up at my email address. (tinapeck03@gmail.com) I’m very tired at the moment and have been at work all day running on only 3-4 hours of sleep. I chose to follow you not because I’m trying to get you to change your mind or reconsider your personal thoughts and feelings on the matter. I’m a very open minded individual and can practically talk about anything without turning it into a debate or an argument. All I want to do is share what I have to finish telling you about. I’m gonna nap for a few hours but I’ll be up on here probably around 2:45-3 am. Early morning hours for me. TTYL

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