16 things people report about their shedding religion journey

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16 things people report about their shedding religion journey:

1. You’re losing your religion but gaining your sanity.
2. Maybe you left church because it wasn’t helping you know God or grow spiritually.
3. You know you are on the right path but trying to explain that path to others is like nailing Jello to a wall, and you often feel misunderstood.
4. Your new life beyond religion isn’t quite as defined as things used to be.
5. You have twice as many questions as you do answers but strangely you’re okay with this.


6. Sometimes you doubt yourself, and crave a religious fix to make you feel better.
7. You desperately wish someone (anyone!) would just accept you where you are right now.
8. Oh, for just a couple of people you could sit down with face-to-face and talk with about all this stuff without the threat of judgment and condemnation!
9. On Monday you feel free, and on Tuesday you wonder if you are going crazy.
10. Christ without Christianity, truth without theology, and community without church makes complete sense to you but it also makes you a heretic among some of your former friends who avoid you in the grocery store.
11. You don’t know how to answer the question, “Are you a Christian?”
12. You refuse to divulge the books you are currently reading because you know it’s going to alarm the people who already think you’ve gone off the deep end.
13. You get nauseated when you hear Christanese.
14. You’re not sure where your Bible is.
15. Suddenly you’re liking the people who were previously classified as “them.”
16. Prayer is more an authentic and powerful desire for the liberation of others and contributing to it, rather than a magic God-wand to save the day.

Does any of this sound familiar?

What would you add?

Latest Comments

  1. Mar says:

    17. You have arrived at a church building and couldn’t get out of the car.
    18. You have avoided weddings and/or funerals if they take place in a church building.

  2. Susan P says:

    Oh yeah. #14 – freaked me out when I couldn’t find even one of the dozen Bibles I own.

  3. gioiamorris says:

    Oh my goodness – ALL of this sounds familiar!!! I’m glad I’m not alone completely 😉
    I used to find comfort in having all the answers – today I find comfort in saying “I don’t know” to pretty much everything… I know what I don’t know and therein lies a kind of freedom I’ve never experienced before… I like you Jim Palmer – thanks for sharing this 🙂

  4. JP~Beautiful Mess says:

    It SCARES me how much I identify with this.

  5. thoughtsalone says:

    Some of it sounds very bitter. Religion has its value or it would not survive. But just because some people believe one has to buy everything espoused by a particular sect – hook, line and sinker – to be a Christian (or Muslim or Hindu or atheist or whatever other religion…) or even a decent person, doesn’t mean I have to believe it. There are all sorts of outlooks – at least as many as there are people. My advice would be, let go of the bitterness and be at peace.

    • Preacher's Daughter says:

      Actually, it isn’t bitterness at all. It is peace. The perspective in which he is writing is relatable to those who have been there. More of a humorous undertone, rather. I don’t usually chime in…. But on this one, I know the perception of his reality all to well. You can rest in knowing peace is definitely there. :)~

    • James says:

      While in “church” I was bitter and didn’t admit it for fear of castigation. It was only after I walked away from the madness did I find peace and a deeper relationship with Father and more meaningful relationships with other believers.. When a woman walks away from an abusive relationship, do you tell her “stop being bitter!”. Chances are, she’s at peace for the first time in a long time.

      • thoughtsalone says:

        It is difficult and can take a long time, but to truly heal one must let go of bitterness. I too have felt betrayed and hurt by my first wife, my country, my business partners, the corporate church, and risked sliding into self pity. But with sincere reflection and time one learns to let go of bitterness and is able to move on. Fear is yet another indication of a heart still in pain. I wish you well in your healing.

  6. Preacher's Daughter says:

    You pretty much nailed it! I wish I had one person to talk to about any of it without being deemed a heretic or them trying to “convert” me back.

    • shade ardent says:

      or just one person who was not ‘concerned for the path you’re on’.

      if being angry at feeling hurt and deceived is bitterness, then yes i’m bitter. but i don’t think that’s the point. i feel defrauded by what i was taught. i feel betrayed by the things that were supposed to be good but are actually monstrous.

      to shed the g-d of that, i shed the institution as well.

      • Preacher's Daughter says:

        Yep. It was and is a difficult journey sometimes. I am so glad I got out and got my children out and gave them the choice of what they believe.

  7. april says:

    My sword is my sanity. I’ve always loved, believed and treasured the truth even as I finally have perspective on the non-denominational edgy, radical but now rigid-with-it’s- own-religion fellowship I’m still in but my husband isn’t. He is on that journey & we support each other the best we can. I feel in the middle because my 14,17, and 20 year old kids love god more via the youth ministry that is brilliant and relevant to students, yet I must caution them of the legalism and help my spouse soften his frustration around the kids. I find myself feeling my homechurch is irrelevant. I love them but they seem blind to the silliness. I find every church has it’s “christian in a can” version.
    trusting God for the journey sure is a challenge but He’s cool with all of us wandering around waiting to hear His sweet guidance, which he loves to give. Some verses that make me believe he wants to sincerely talk with me: Psalm 25:14 “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence Him. With them alone He shares the secrets of His promises.” The Book God wants to whisper secrets to me? Bring it!

    Isaiah 30:18,21; 48:6; 65:24 Jer. 6:16a; 33:3 Some of these may seem pulled out of context, but it shows how God was and is trying to guide us

  8. gingershu says:

    Reblogged this on Tears of a Stone Angel and commented:
    They say that once your mind expands after your soul has been freed, it can never go back into the cage that held it prisoner for so long. Maybe this is what true evolution and enlightenment is all about.

    Once I was judged and I judged others; I’m getting too old and too tired for that kind of shit now.

    Once I wallowed in a festering sewer of negativity; I saw myself getting it and giving it as naturally as breathing in and breathing out.
    Now I have neither the time nor the energy for that.

    And my God smiled and said, “Oh, my dear, wonderful child! And you don’t call this growth?”

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