I recently had a chat with a friend who doesn’t want to live the Christian life any more.
It was a really sad moment as I heard why they had come to this decision and I felt really powerless and totally out of my depth. (a great reminder that it is Christ and not me who makes people believe…or not)
It made me think a lot of other friends who have walked away from Christianity and the reasons why they have done this.
I honestly can’t say that anyone I know has done an investigation of Christianity and decided that the evidence disproves it. Not one. Now I’m sure an atheist would say this is because they have been brainwashed or that they aren’t really looking at the evidence (because of their biased view point) and this is probably true….in the same way that most atheist don’t look at the evidence for Christianity (I can already hear the angry shouts of “What evidence” proving my point) when they look at Christianity.
The friends I know who have unconverted could probably be grouped into three broad categories (though they are individuals and have many differences).
- Never believed,
- Wanting a different life,
Sometimes, these combined with then further research and then the person finds the evidence against Christianity convincing but I’ve never seen it happen the other way round.
With people who never really believed, they would say they were Christians and by that they then list they: went to church, read the bible stories, liked Christmas and usually also say they were brought up as Christians.
Pain perhaps should included extreme pain. People who go through tough experiences, certainly worse than I’ve ever had to deal with, and come to the conclusion from those events that either God isn’t loving or isn’t real.
Wanting to live a different life
Many people get to their late teens and they start to want to do things they think are “wrong.” They often start to feel guilty about this and then choose to change their beliefs. Either Christianity means something different and what they want to do become right all of a sudden, or Christianity is wrong and so there are no more problems with doing what they want.
These of course parallel the reasons in the parable of the sower, Those where the gospel never takes root and is taken away by the devil, Where there is no root so hard times of trouble or persecution take the word away, and the worries of the world (wealth and desires for other things) kill off the roots.
On the whole, I’d say that the last is the dominate reason I’ve seen.
I guess there are some strong warnings from these experiences to make sure we feed the roots we have, to make sure we believe in Gods word, to praise him in times of trouble and to take joy in the Christian life.