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Safe Exit Ramps

I spent most of my life believing that the God of the Universe had sent his son to die for my sins, that I was a born-again member of God's chosen family, and that he had called me to be one of his spokespersons.

I became a believer at the age of nine during a year of reading the Bible from cover-to-cover. I was a good boy who made my parents proud. When the time was right, I admitted I was a sinner and gave my life to Jesus.

I learned to sing hymns like "Amazing Grace" in which we each proclaimed that Jesus had died for "such a worm as I." It was a great paradox of belief: God loves me. I am special. But I'm also a worm. I'm broken, flawed, and hopeless on my own, but Jesus has fixed me, no, is fixing me. Wait, will fix me. No, has fixed me. Yikes!

Discrimination
Discrimination
Discrimination

Don’t Tell Me My Life Sucks
I'll Make That Decision

It’s probably not the best sleep therapy, but when I have trouble falling asleep at night, I often put my earbuds in and listen to a debate between a non-believer and a Christian apologist on YouTube. Typically, I fall asleep within 15 or 20 minutes, well before the debate is over, and may or may not remember much of what I listened to the next day.

But last night, I listened to a debate—all of it—that did not permit me to fall asleep. In fact, it left a deep impression on me. The discussion was between Andrew L. Seidel and Christian apologist Tom Trento. The topic was "Does the God of the Bible Exist?" (I’ve included a link to the debate at the end of this article.)

The primary reason the debate had such an impact on me was that the 5-minute opening statement by Andrew L. Seidel is probably the best articulated short statement advocating non-belief I have ever heard. In fact, Seidel is the first person who has caused me to think someone might have the potential to fill the gap left by the passing of Christopher Hitchens.

But there was another reason I was stirred by the debate.

Frozen Fountain Houston Texas February 2021
Frozen Fountain Houston Texas February 2021
Frozen Fountain Houston Texas February 2021

I'm Sorry for Your Loss

When I was an evangelical Christian, my faith led me toward compassion for hurting people, acceptance of all ethnic groups, and a sense of being part of an international family of believers. That same faith called me to a sense of stewardship of the earth's natural resources, and it taught me not to blame other people for my own mistakes. And this was not my own custom-built version of faith. I learned these values in church and from teachers in college and seminary.

I failed to live up to these values numerous times, but they were my targets.

I'm perplexed that a majority of white conservative Christians in the US are now linked with a worldview that doesn't just lack empathy for those in need, but actually scorns them. I’m writing about those who are offended by the idea that Black Lives Matter and prefer the slogan Blue Lives Matter—but when their tribe stomps, tortures, and kills police, that's okay. I’m writing about those who think God loves the US more than any other country, use their belief in end-time prophecies to deny and discredit global climate change, and are better at blaming than taking responsibility.

Write Your Deconversion Story

I've created a simple step-by-step online "interview" on this site to help you write your deconversion story. The interview consists of ten thought-provoking questions. You will have an opportunity to answer each question with a few sentences or, if you like, a few paragraphs.

When you're done and are satisfied with what you have written, you can click a button that will combine all your paragraphs into one document. You will then be able to edit your story by changing the interview answers that were automatically inserted--rearranging, deleting, rewording, etc.

When you are done with editing, you can click to have the completed story emailed to you.

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Tim Sledge Preaching
Tim Sledge Preaching
Tim Sledge Preaching

I Am Not at War with Christians

This is me at age 17 preaching to 1,200 teenagers at a city-wide evangelistic rally I organized in my hometown of Odessa, Texas. As I preached that night and in the following decades of ministry, I was 100% sincere. I wasn't trying to con anyone. I wasn’t in it for money or power. It was my deep conviction that faith in Jesus made life a hundred times better for anyone who embraced it.

I continued preaching for 36 more years. Then, thirteen years ago, I left the Christian faith.

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