What Part Did the Internet Play in Your Loss of Faith?

porn leads to loss of faithI am of the opinion that the advent of the internet is hastening America’s march towards secularism and unbelief. Prior to Al Gore inventing the internet, knowledge was controlled by academic institutions, libraries, churches, and mainstream media outlets. Today, Americans are exposed to dizzying amount of data. Thanks to Google, known as GOD at our house, the answers to every question are but a search away.

Before the internet, Evangelicals relied on their pastors and Sunday school teachers to tell them the “truth” about God, Jesus, church history, and the Bible. Questions and doubts were taken to pastors for resolution. These men of God were expected to speak authoritatively and put church members’ doubts to rest. Doubt is a tool used by Satan to rob Christians of their joy, peace, and happiness, countless Evangelical pastors told their congregations. If in doubt, just BELIEVE! The problem, of course, is that most people, Christians included, do have doubts and questions. Now that three-fourths of American homes have broadband internet access, doubting and questioning Evangelicals no longer have to rely on their pastors for answers.

I started blogging in 2007. At the time, I was still a Christian. On the last Sunday of 2008, I attended church for the last time. Filled with questions and doubts that had been percolating for years, I came to the realization that I was no longer a Christian. The internet played a crucial part in my deconversion. It connected me with like-minded people, those with similar doubts, questions, and fears. Thanks to internet (and search engines), hundreds of thousands of people have come to this blog (or one of its previous iterations) seeking answers to their questions and interaction with like-minded people. I have been blessed to meet countless people from the vast corners of the world. I have hundreds of what I call digital friends, people I likely will never meet, but who play an important and helpful part in my life. And I hope that in some small way, telling my story and critiquing Evangelical Christianity has been a help to those who visit this site.

Recently, I stumbled upon a post by Joel Miller. Miller’s blog is hosted by Patheos on the Evangelical channel. In April of 2014, Miller wrote a post titled, Is Internet Porn to Blame for the Rise of the Nones? He later changed the title to How Internet Porn Explains the Decline of American Faith. Miller, who is vice president of acquisitions for Nelson Books at Thomas Nelson, doesn’t think the internet plays an instrumental part in the rapid rise of the NONES, those who self-identify as atheists, agnostics, or indifferent towards religion. Instead, Miller blames porn. That’s right. It is not doubts and questions that have caused a loss of faith; it is easy access to internet pornography.

Miller writes:

Since the early 1990s, there has been a significant uptick in Americans abandoning their faith. After crunching the numbers, one researcher says contributing factors such as upbringing and education only explain part of the increase. What about the rest?

After controlling for variables like income, environment, and so on, computer scientist Allen Downey of Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts found 25 percent of the decline can be correlated with Internet access. More Web, less faith.

Why? Here’s Downey’s stab at an answer: “For people living in homogeneous communities, the Internet provides opportunities to find information about people of other religions (and none), and to interact with them personally.” So increased exposure leads to doubt, disagreement, disenchantment, and ultimately to discarding your faith.

….

Disaffiliation should come as no surprise. We’ve already seen that porn makes prayer and beneficial contemplation impossible. Given the Christian understanding of the spiritual life, we’re not capable of simultaneously pursuing our lusts and sanctification. Such a pursuit causes internal dissonance, and the only resolution involves eventually conceding to the pull of one or the other.

….

If the rise of the internet has anything to do with a loss of faith — and it’s an interesting thought — the role of ideas is likely minimal. Arguments don’t cool many hearts, but sin surely does.

While I certainly agree that the internet gives us ready access to a wide array of eroticism and pornography, I seriously doubt that the road out of Christianity is paved with YouPorn videos and JPEGs of naked men and women. Miller, a committed purveyor of endless books that are meant to answer Christian doubts and questions, dares not admit that the real problem is one of knowledge. Doing so would put the blame for the NONES squarely back on Christian sects, churches, and pastors. Doing so would open pastors up to charges of deceit and promoting ignorance. We can’t have that, so those who have exited the Evangelical church stage left and found purpose and meaning elsewhere, are doing so because they are lustful.

Is this your experience too? Are you an unbeliever today due to your insatiable desire for porn? Or did the internet and sites like this one play an instrumental part in your deconversion? Please share your experiences in the comment section. I am certain that Miller is far afield in his assertion about the NONES, and I ask that readers educate him about the real reasons people leave Christianity.

I plan to pin this post to the top of the front page for a few weeks, giving infrequent readers a chance to share their stories.

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42 Comments

  1. Brian

    I had more interest in porn as a Christian. Now I have a mild and occasional interest in many things and I am comfortable with an imperfect balance and enjoy much less overall excess compared with my fundagelical years. As for the internet leading me out of belief, no…. my feelings and my thoughts carried me steadily more and more free of the church. The internet has certainly solidified my feelings, my atheism and I am thankful to be able to share with web people regarding my journey, especially the hearing part, even more than my telling… Joel Miller, I would hazard, has a bee in his crotch and cannot get rid of it.

    Reply
  2. Ami

    Considering the overwhelming variety of things found on the internet, I am more likely to exclaim, “OH MY GOD!!” far more often than when I was still a believer.

    And I was an atheist before Algore and the internet.

    Reply
  3. Karen the rock whisperer

    I was fairly far along in my deconversion when the ‘net came along. For me, deconversion was part of a long journey of escaping profound depression and having to re-learn everything about who I really was, and what I believed in terms of right/wrong, good/bad when I was no longer my brain’s example of Worst Living Being. Psychotropic drugs and therapy taught me that I was fundamentally okay, and that was completely at odds with Christianity. The more I thought about the underpinnings of theistic religions, the more unlikely they became. Then the ‘net did come along and I was able to explore more ideas about spirituality and what makes life meaningful, and religion seemed less and less valuable in any way.

    Now I approach religion as a scientist; give me some scientific-quality evidence for your god. I haven’t seen any.

    Reply
  4. Michael Mock

    You know my story. I stopped being a Christian fairly young, despite being raised as one, and despite being raised in a loving, grace-oriented church environment. I stopped being a Christian because the longer I looked at what I’d been taught, the less the disparate pieces of Christian teaching seemed to fit together into anything like a coherent whole.

    And while the Internet could have played a part in that, for the most part it all took place before the Internet existed. But, understand this (anyone who hasn’t heard my story before): I wasn’t reading arguments against Christianity, and I sure as the world itself wasn’t pulled away by porn. What broke my ability to accept Christianity was the very act of trying to understand it, and on its own terms at that.

    Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older, well, he’ll start making his own decisions and drawing his own conclusions. Maybe they’ll agree with yours, and maybe they won’t. Mine didn’t, and I’m extremely fortunate that my parents were able to cope.

    Reply
    1. August Rode

      With one minor exception, mine is the same story as yours, Michael. The difference is that my disentanglement from Christianity took place entirely before the internet existed.

      Reply
  5. Sarah

    I started having doubts fairly young that solidified a little more in my late teen years (by having nothing more than th Bible itself & my parents/church). I was about 19/20 when th internet was starting to become a fairly common household accessory & I made good use of it.

    One site/page I found showed th similarities of Paul’s teachings to Mithraism, & my mind was never th same after that. It took awhile to absorb th shock of that one, but ultimately, very liberating

    Reply
    1. TLC

      Thank you so much for your comment on Paul and Mithraism. I researched this last night and was shocked. I have much to ponder.

      The Internet played a big role in my change of faith. First thing I researched was tithing. Our pastor did a sermon on it and explained how “gifts” are in addition to tithes. “And if you don’t tithe, your gifts don’t count!” That statement started me researching, and discovering how UN-Biblical it is to tithe.

      That journey led me to the decision about two years ago to no longer call myself a “born-again Christian.” I no longer identify as Evangelical, because I don’t want people to think I live a lifestyle of hatred. Jesus said, “Whatever you DO to the leasr of my brothers, you do unto me.” Not pray, or worship, or read, or all the stuff I used to do that only produced confusion and isolation. So I decided to shut up and put away the books and the Bible and the worship music, and make DOING my life’s goal, and live a life of love. And life is much better.

      It’s brave writers like Bruce and the people on the Spiritual Abuse Survivors blog network who have helped me work through these issues, see all the crap I was taught, and figure out what I believe. No, I haven’t deconverted. But yes, my faith is MUCH different than it was nine years ago, when I walked out of my last fundagelical church for the last time. And I am much better off for going through this process.

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Thanks for sharing!

        Bruce

        Reply
  6. Melody

    The internet helped in searching for answers to questions that I had. It was and is a very useful tool but the questions came from within. It broadens horizons and it does challenge the limited resources that churches or religious groups themselves provide. Definitely knowledge instead of porn 🙂

    Reply
    1. ratamacue

      The internet helped in searching for answers to questions that I had. It was and is a very useful tool but the questions came from within… Definitely knowledge instead of porn 🙂

      Same here.

      Reply
  7. Richard M

    I left Christianity in ’72. If the Internet had been available, it would have seriously shortened my de-conversion. Like most of us, it started with questions and doubts which I took to Church leaders. After a lot of lame “answers”, I turned to libraries and bookstores. Knowledge was out there, but hard to find. Apologist Josh McDowell warned:

    “Every pastor, youth pastor, and every parent is in competition with the Internet and the information it is spreading,” said McDowell. “Most young people don’t get their news from CNN or CBS, they get it from bloggers. There are about 181 million bloggers vying for the attention of your children.”

    The unlimited amount of online information that people have access to has caused an increase in skepticism that will only continue to become more pervasive, says McDowell.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/10/15/christian-apologist-josh-mcdowell-is-clearly-running-out-of-ways-to-keep-his-brand-of-faith-alive/

    Reply
  8. Clay

    I’m surprised that the respondents so far, don’t credit the Internet in having a significant role in deconversion. I have to believe that our younger generation would credit the vast information available on the Internet as being significant in their deconversion stories.

    I started my blog about 2 years ago primarily as a cathartic experience to put my story into words. The Internet played a profound role in my deconversion, which occurred while I was in my 40’s. Prior to using the Internet to explore criticisms of Christianity, I remained in a protected bubble of indoctrination, fueled by fear. And I agree with Brian, that while under evangelicalism, the naughtiness of porn had a stronger appeal. We routinely want what we’re not supposed to have. Studies bear it out that evangelical Christians are bigger consumers of porn than non-Christians. But porn is NOT the doorway to non-belief. I’d argue that maintaining faith and having an evangelical mindset keeps porn a more enjoyable form of entertainment. Lol.

    Reply
    1. Michael Mock

      I’m generally wary of anything that sounds like it should start with “Kids these days…” but in this case I think it genuinely is a generational difference. I was already on my way out of Christianity back when we were still using the 2400 Baud modem to dial into a couple of local BBS sites, where even the graphics were made of text.

      Reply
      1. Angiep

        What did you just say? It may be a reference to antiquated computer technology, but I still glazed over…

        Reply
        1. Michael Mock

          I said, “I played Space Invaders in an actual video arcade at the mall.”

          Or, well, close enough.

          Reply
        2. Michael Mock

          “Listen well and ‘member. We do the speaking every night so we don’t forget. Time was, time is, time’s gone. ‘Member the time now, when everything was meatspace. T’weren’t no Internet. T’weren’t no Metaverse.”

          Children in chorus: “We ‘member it.”

          “‘Member the times when the tech wasn’t part of you. ‘Member the times before you could even wear the glasses or the goggles to see into the Network. Member when a computer was nothin’ more than a big, heavy box, like furniture, with a tiny little window to let you see… and there wasn’t anything to see. ‘Member when all there was, was people writin’ words.”

          Children in chorus: “We ‘member it.”

          “Some of these boxes, these computers, they were plugged into wires. Phone lines, we called ’em then. The box computers used other boxes, smaller boxes, modems to talk ‘cross the wires. Without the modems, the box computers were silent and alone. ‘Member them.”

          Children in chorus: “We ‘member the modems. We ‘member the copper wires.”

          “In those lost, dark days, you had to know the numbers. If you didn’t know the numbers, the modems couldn’t find other modems. They couldn’t talk. We wrote the numbers on paper, in meatspace. We left them where people could find them. We found the numbers that other people had left. We put them in our computers, so our modems could talk to their modems, so our little computer windows could show us the words they’d written, and they could read ours. ‘Member the numbers.”

          Children in chorus: “We ‘member the numbers.”

          “Time is, time was, time’s gone. That was world, when I first drifted away from Christianity. ‘Member it.”

          Children in chorus: “We ‘member. We hold tight to ‘membering.”

          Reply
      2. Brian

        Ha, so true! Dial-up to wait….and wait… and then oh thrill…. Connection! (I feel so oldddddd!)

        Reply
  9. Troy

    Wow I would have never made the connection of porn causing atheism. Now if he had something about internet porn causing the extinction of the pubic louse, that I might find plausible. I actually think religion causes more people to become porn addicts. The more you try to follow your religion and NOT think about it the more you are thinking about it. Jimmy Swaggart fell into that trap.
    The internet can give isolated atheists a community as well as information useful for the inquiring person. Facts are actually a lot more toxic to fundamentalist sects. Liberal interpretations have already been mollified by facts, as such most of the ex-christian internet atheists are former fundamentalists.

    Reply
  10. Appalachian Agnostic

    I had little interest in porn before or after my deconversion, but the internet did play a large role because it let me discover that not everyone is a Christian. I am curious how other readers will answer this question! The idea seems pretty silly.

    Reply
  11. Van

    Very big role. Heard NPR story on Theresa McBain’s coming out on way home one day. Week or so later went to NPR.org and listened again. Then googled The Clergy Project, then all downhill from there. It’s how I wound up here. Probably only a month or so from start to finish.

    Reply
  12. Anonemous

    Internet’s role? Pretty big role. It gave me an opportunity to hear many views and not just my Calvinistic gatekeeper views. I guess deconversion started from questions of theodicy, hell, creation, the brutality of the OT, and absurdity of generations of pple being chn of Adam, (Born in sin) and then looking at church history.
    Role of porn – none. (It once had a grip on me .. no longer).

    Reply
  13. formerHACgirl

    Bruce,
    This website is THE reason I am an atheist today instead of an IFB. No internet porn of any kind involved, as I have no interest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your work.

    Reply
  14. Geoff

    I have never been religious in any meaningful way, but the internet helped me hugely in refining my understanding of why I think the way I do. In other words, the internet is great because it is a great source of reason. I have to confess, a little ashamedly, to having no interest whatever in porn.

    Reply
  15. Ian

    My first questions developed while reading The DaVinci Code. Specifically when one character stated that winners get to write history and they chose what was in the Bible. That was a mind blowing thought.

    After my parents deconverted, I heard they had referenced a website called Jesus never existed. Looking at that site was my first experience with the thought that it was all a lie. That site gave me so many questions that I kept searching. I knew people didn’t believe in Jesus, but I never imagined that so many didn’t even believe he existed, or treated his story like I treated a Greek myth.

    The internet was truly a catalyst in my decinversion. It is no wonder that pastors tell their people to stay away from non-Christian sites. They will plant seeds of doubt.

    Porn had nothing to do with me walking away from Christianity. Although, while studying, I felt that I’d get more forgiveness for porn than for anti-Christian websites.

    Once again, a christian ties everything to sex.

    Reply
  16. lclass003

    I do still describe myself as a person of faith. My experience of seeing people deconvert is that the Internet did not spark or fuel the deconversion at all. Many took philosophy classes at secular schools, and science classes. I believe that members of my family bravely tried to keep up the appearance of being good Christians, until they felt safe to share. No-one I know has said a thing about the Internet, other than to show me things in science that disproved the Bible. I really hope that people who are overwhelmed by the idea of atheism find this blog. Bruce, I really think that every bible thumping person should read this blog and the comments. It may teach people to stop converting, and accepting supporting folks, instead of shunning people.

    Reply
  17. david

    My loss of faith involves only that of considering the Bible to be completely literally inerrant.**

    The internet played no role in this at all, although after my own observations, it has allowed me to see stories of others with similar questions.

    Bruce, consider giving some additional thought to ‘the answers’ being but a search away. Answers of some sort are generally but a search away (I do occasionally formulate a search that has zero results), but they may not be ‘the answer’, and as time passes, and people come to depend on them more and more, the internet becomes a single point of failure, or a single point of manipulation, if the search engine providers so choose or are so forced (china?), just as much as some traditional media seems to attempt such manipulation regarding some topics. In my experience, its already not a reliable source in the sense of longevity – if you see a page with information that might be useful, best take notes of your own – it might not be there in the future.

    (**I still believe in the God of the Bible, and his son Jesus.
    Anticipating questions perhaps similar to ‘How could you believe something from such a source?’ – My observations and life experiences have made that possible. I still have unanswered questions. But personally satisfactory answers to them do not seem to be just an internet search away.)

    Reply
  18. Lydia

    The Internet definitely helped me in my deconversion process. It was gradual, but I kept running into questions about faith that I couldn’t answer that were asked by people online whom I really respected. The more I googled stuff, the less sure I became of anything.

    There were offline factors as well (mostly getting to know secular people as individuals and realizing that they were the same as me in every way that mattered), but the Internet was part of it all.

    Reply
  19. Kopia

    Hey there. First time, long time (well, not so very long, but still…) I’ll be in the minority here, as I still identify as a Christian, although a happily unchurched one. My flight from the Pentecostal movement began after nearly two decades of working hard for the kingdom (started in my teens, ended in my late 30’s), followed by what turned into a permanent case of burnout/vacation. I had a music ministry, and my wife was a Deaconess. We were there every time the doors were open. But, after we’d left pretty much left the church, and after 13 years of marriage, she came out to me as Bi. Reconciling that with my faith was the wedge that cracked everything open.

    The internet absolutely contributed to the destruction of my faith in my doctrine. The final straw were Dr. David Gushee ‘s excellent series of articles (now a book) at the ABP press website, on what is now being called the open and affirming movement.

    What remains of my faith is extremely liberal, and in fact, I still haven’t figured out what it all is, yet. I only know what it isn’t.

    Reply
  20. Violet

    The internet played a huge role in my deconversion a year and a half ago…knowledge is POWER. I’ve never even thought to view porn (perhaps because I’m female). I find it seriously offensive when christians say the only reason I left the church was because of sin, and many of them outright accuse me of having some secret, sexually deviant behavior. I’ve been with my husband for 17 years and have never strayed, but many of my previous christian friends call me a “whore.” Gotta love it.

    Reply
    1. Michael Mock

      Wow. That sucks. I hope you’ve found some better friends since then.

      Reply
  21. ElectroMagneticJosh

    It played a big role in mine.

    I was a firm believer, a child of missionary parents, a worship leader, and a lay-preacher at my church. The internet provided great resources for me to investigate the bible as a prepared for sermons. Initially I was just looking for additional information on interpreting verses and/or historical contexts to some of the passages I might cover in a sermon. I wasn’t going to sceptic* or atheist sites for this information just Wikipedia articles and then following links in the footnotes.

    What I found sometimes bothered me – especially the stuff that demonstrated parts of the bible might be ahistorical. Also when Christian interpretations of Jewish scriptures were quite different to how the Jews viewed them and, in many cases, the Christian interpretation seemed more forced – most noticeably when it came to forcing OT passages into “predictions” of Jesus.
    From there it was youtube and discovering lectures and debates involving Bart Ehrman, or videos featuring Francesca Stavrakopoulou. Suddenly I realised that there were good reasons to doubt the accuracy of scripture but, ironically, this made me even more interested in the bible and so I began to read (Ehrman, Avalos and others).

    *To be clear – I was very much into sceptical material but never applied the types of thinking it engendered to my faith. At least not for years – I was content with debunking UFOs of fake science claims.

    Reply
  22. Lynn123

    My deconversion started with a couple shocking (to me) statements casually made by a daughter and a friend. I had quit my job recently, so I had lots of free time to do research. I have an inquiring and analytical mind. Somewhere around that time, I came across Christopher Hitchens. Also, I was attending church and in a very small Sunday School class, where they were discussing church history. I quickly encountered “the attitude” when I asked slightly critical questions.

    Reply
  23. Pingback: ”This is the end ….” | A Tale Unfolds

  24. ashley haworth-roberts

    You may have seen (and may have already mentioned somewhere):
    https://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/this-is-the-end/
    The Christian attitude mentioned appears to be “if people won’t accept what I say, discussion and comment is futile”.

    Reply
  25. Vic78

    Lol, as a teenager in the late ’90s, I used the Net and discovered decent philosophy, a little history, Robert Ingersoll, Mark Twain’s antichristian writings, and Infidel.org. I was a kid that loved reading and was studying to be a preacher at 18(serious waste of youthful energy). I was never afraid of ideas that didn’t conform to my way of thinking and if I came across something better, I would abandon my old ideas. Well, let’s just say that the great Ingersoll made my faith seem too stupid to hold on to.

    I didn’t leave right away, but the seeds were planted when I was 19 and found the history, philosophy, and evolution didn’t match up well with the Christian faith. I walked away and declared myself an atheist at age 21(that was when I discovered Ingersoll and the others mentioned in the first paragraph).

    Another thing is I’m a black dude in the south(Alabama) that’s extremely anti-religious. It’s done wonders for my social life.

    Reply
  26. Zoe

    Originally I might have said it did not have anything to do with my deconversion. But in a round-about way it did.

    I came to the internet to look for help dealing with the trauma of Christian spiritual abuse. I spent years blogging as a Christian, on Christian forums with special emphasis on Christian forums dealing with spiritual abuse.

    Short story. After years of trying to reconcile the diversity found within Christianity and not finding a spot in which to land to maintain my faith I let it go knowing I simply could not in good conscience refer to myself as a born-again Christian any longer.

    As I slowly left the faith transitioning through various modes of Christianity, I became known as a heretic amongst the Christians, which actually even raised my notoriety amongst some bloggers. But then when they realized that I also threw the baby out with the bathwater they were none to pleased with me. I drifted away from the dock and we all let go of one another.

    Back then I only knew of one other blogger who considered herself an atheist. All these years later the internet has exploded with stops along the way where one can not only socialize with fellow non-believer’s and those who left the faith, but can also get some much needed support and encouragement as needed. Our stories matter and we may never know just how much. <3 🙂

    Reply
  27. J.D. Matthews

    Indeed, the internet did play an integral role in my deconversion. I grew up in a hardline Church of Christ, the son of a preacher man. I did have questions along the way, but there was no real way to research it. I graduated high school in the mid-90’s, so the internet was not much of a thing, to say nothing of Google, Wikipedia or the huge repositories of information now available for the casual searcher. By the time I graduated from my fundamentalist university, I was somewhat familiar with the internet, but given the environment I was constantly in, I felt like I was really the only one asking these questions, and therefore there was probably something wrong, off, or just plain sinful about me.

    Fast forward to the late 2000s, and I’d gone from being a pastor in my childhood church to being a full-time overseas missionary. Mission work was a whole different animal, and it forced me to think about the questions. I remember sitting with my laptop in front of me, and the urge to find out whether or not I really was the only one asking these questions laid hard in my gut, so it was off to Google to search for “things church of christ gets wrong”. One of the first links was to an Ex-Church of Christ support forum, so I clicked on it…and suddenly hours of my life were gone, reading from so many others who had the same questions that I had and who had decided that they could no longer accept that church. I would never have known they were there, because my church is well known for people acting perfect when they really have doubts.

    Of course, when one domino falls, others are usually behind it. Over the course of the next few years, I would question literally everything that I believed. I was, and still am, possessed of an insatiable need to read more and more about faith, religion and spirituality. So I studied the Bible, its authorship, the canonization process, arguments against authenticity, the various and sundry contradictions within it, the absurdities it contains… It became very clear to me that I couldn’t believe in it any longer, and having dialogues with atheists on the internet also showed me some good reasons why these good people no longer believed in a deity.

    Very little of this would’ve been possible without the internet. And you can tell Joel Miller that not a single porn site was responsible for any of it. 🙂

    Thank you for writing this excellent blog. I’m a new reader, but I’m enjoying catching up.

    Reply
  28. Cob

    Neither the internet, nor porn had much to do with my deconversion. For me it was coming to fully appreciate how much belief shapes a person’s “reality”. I used to believe that God created someone special for everyone, that there was a “the one” (Which is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make.) I found myself in a long unhealthy, embarrassing, painful “just friendship” with a person who probably has borderline personality disorder. It was a huge mess, in which I became convinced this person was “the one.” I was like Morpheus in the Matrix, I knew this person was “the one.” I was never so sure of anything in my life, I was more sure of it than I am that I am sitting here now. It was painful (and educational)
    Thankfully she wasn’t the one, I dodged the world’s most disfunctional bullet. The whole event got me thinking about my faith though. Having believed something so strongly, and living a reality that was completely in my head, it was so convincing, I had to think about faith. I believed in God, and it seemed so real. I used to wonder what else in life was there?I took it very seriously, but when it came down to it could the “reality” of it be explained by the effects of believing it?
    As I looked at it from the outside, in the same way I would look at a different religion, it was obvious it wasn’t real. It’s amazing how obvious it is, when you actually question it critically.
    It still took me a few years to come to terms with my disbelief. The internet is now helping me process Christianity further, but it wasn’t necessary in me leaving the faith

    Reply
  29. Trenton

    Porn had nothing to do with my deconversion. The cognitive dissonance and mental gymnastics required to keep up the view of christianity were the first stepping stones on the way out, actually reading progressive christian blogs and atheist blogs finally pushed me to give up what pieces of my shattered faith I had left. It was rather nice throwing out the trash even if was a rather solemn experience.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Evangelicals often fail to understands the angst and emotional travail many of us went through as we tried to hang onto our faith. I tell people, I tried to stop the slide down the proverbial slippery slope, but none of the stops along my descent met my spiritual, psychological, and intellectual needs. It was only when I said I no longer believed that healing could begin. That process continues to this day. I know it is a well-worn cliche, but life IS a journey, not a destination. I am not today what I was yesterday, and I will not be tomorrow what I am today. People tend to judge based on a moment in time. What they fail to understand is that I am no longer at that place in my journey. Ever moving….until death says to me….stop. ?

      Reply
    2. Trenton

      There was some other post recently about about some guy saying people left christianity and i think i mixed it up with this thread. My mistake. As for what you said 100% true, I had several stops often with a few tears shed at each one. Of course I read charisma “news” just to remember why I dont want to go back.

      Reply
  30. Justine Valinotti

    Well, I can honestly say that porn of any kind had no role in my loss of faith because I have just never been interested in porn. Even as a kid, it didn’t excite me. Maybe having some sexual experiences to which I didn’t consent (because I couldn’t have) early in my life had something to do with that.

    I think I was well on my way out of Christianity, and religious belief generally, before I saw things like “God Is Imaginary” and this blog on the Internet. But the web may have put the last nails in the coffin of my faith, if you will.

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