Quitting Christianity. Those words draw strong feelings from all sides. From those angry at God to those angry at His church, there are many people who know this simple fact: What exists is not right.
I want this to be a place you can share your story. Keep it honest but respectful. Maybe through conversation and community we can all find the God who loves us, and a people who are made in His image.
#1 by Robin Karr on November 19, 2010 - 1:45 AM
I do not call myself a Christian any longer. I say that I am a follower of Christ instead. I accepted Christ at the young age of 8 and I’m now 49. I have lived for God my whole life. I could write a book about what I’ve seen growing up in church; Southern Baptist, Pentacostal, Non-Denominational, etc. In fact, my son and I have begun to write a book of sorts about my experiences in church over my entire life. Sadly, my experience with the church has not been good for the most part. However, I always continued to look beyond all the wrong I saw going on in church and look to God. Even as a child, I realized that he was not responsible for how people in church ‘act’. I agree with Dave Kirby in that the modern church is nothing even remotely like the church should be or was 2000 years ago. I have not been in church in a number of years now. My reason: to keep my sanity. I have had so much turmoil, trauma and injustice in my life that ‘Christians’ simply could not deal with it. Like Job’s friends, they felt I must be at fault somehow for all the suffering I have endured for most of my life. I think it is too hard for most people to wrap their head around the fact that a true follower of Christ can expect suffering and trials and injustice; not fine homes, fine automobiles, designer this and that, etc. Most so-called Christians I know ‘serve God’ because they believe he owes them if they do. They can take scripture out of context and prove it. I’ve been in ‘word churches’ where they name it and claim it. I have lost everything. Today, I am disabled by a surgery I did not need and did not consent to and I’m unable to work. I am homeless. Over half of my disability income goes for child support for my two youngest children who were kidnapped by their father and a judge twelve years ago. The main reason my children were taken from me was because I had them dedicated to God and I had them annointed with oil. I was openly mocked in court for being a Christian and arrested at the end of that hearing. As chance would have it (or God would have it), there was a reporter at this particular hearing and my story was front page headlines in the newspaper the next day. My church found this very difficult to believe or accept so I got a transcript of the hearing so they could read it for themselves. They were horrified and did not want to deal with what had happened. I think they had to believe that I must have done something wrong or my life would not have been filled with so much injustice. They did not want to suffer like me so they had to believe that I somehow brought suffering and injustice upon myself. I wonder what they would have said to Joseph; whose own brothers sold him into slavery? I wonder what they would have said to Joseph after he went to jail for something he didn’t do. I could give countless examples of men of God who suffered injustice after injustice. Nearly all who followed Christ suffered great injustice and died horrible deaths. The modern church is a stinch in God’s nostrils in my opinion and I do not want any part of it. I love God with all my heart no matter if I never get well and no matter if I never see my own children again in this life. I was raped as a child and had a brain tumor by age fifteen. My whole life has been filled with injustice after injustice. I admit I don’t understand all the reaons why. I don’t question though either. I made up my mind a long time ago that God’s Word is true no matter what the circumstances of my life are and that he did enough for me when he gave his one and only Son to die for my sins. God is the author and finisher of my faith. He is either Lord of all or Lord of nothing. My story is not over yet either and I don’t know the difference I have made in lives for eternity. Eternity is what matters. What would a man give in exchange for this soul? Most ‘Christians’ have sold their souls and don’t even know it. I love God but I have to stay away from the church in order to survive. That is a very sad commentary on the modern day church…..
#2 by Dave Kirby on November 22, 2010 - 6:44 PM
My heart broke as I read your story. At a time in your life when you needed other believers most, you felt alone and abandoned. Please know that I am praying for you: that God will keep you in the palm of His great hand and that you will find a body of believers to support you through your pain.
I know I have also been through a lot of pain I didn’t ask for. I believe, like you, that it is our calling as believers to suffer for Him. At the same time, I am praying that you will find strength and joy in your journey. I don’t know your whole story, but I do know God has not abandoned you, and neither will I.
#3 by Robin Karr on November 23, 2010 - 6:05 PM
Thank you Dave for your encouraging words. When we truly live for Christ, life is far from easy. I appreciate your prayers and the prayers of anyone who reads my story and believes that God is true and every man a liar. As I stated in my story, my two youngest children were kidnapped by their father in 1998. I forced myself to go on because I had another child from my first marriage and I knew that God had a plan for his life. To make a long story short, he was born hating the name of Jesus and he hated the Bible. I knew that this child was meant for greatness in God’s kingdom. Satan went after him before he could really walk and talk. I had never encountered anything like this. He is now 25 and a writer. He quit Christianity too. He is a follower of Christ. I know that God is going to use him in a mighty way. This child has had so many struggles and yet he has not lost his faith in God. It is stronger today than ever. He encourages me. He dedicated a performance to me in college wherein he said “To my Mom, the strongest tree in the forest”. Tears streamed down my face because I never realized that he viewed me as a strong person. I have failed so many times in life. My own brothers think I’m a complete failure and both say they are Christians and go to church constantly. My youngest brother has even had the boldness to tell me I’m not a Christian and have never been a Christian. I come from a family in the Bible belt who judge others very harshly. I have suffered so much over my entire lifetime that I have learned to ‘judge gently’. I chose to love and share the love of God with those who have been brokn by life and who are hurting. Thank you for your boldness in Christ Jesus and for stating the truth that many do not want to hear.
The holidays are the toughest time for me because November was when my children were kidnapped and both of their birthdays are during the holidays. This year is the toughest yet for many reasons. My children are being held captive and are not allowed to even visit me. I could deal with this much better before the surgery that ruined my health and life as I describe on my web site. I have been listening to some of the older songs from people like Rich Mullins lately in order to draw strength and also reading the scriptures. I miss Rich Mullins. He was the real deal. We don’t see men like him too often today…….
#4 by jennifer on February 16, 2011 - 8:58 PM
I still call myself a Christian, maybe because it just hasn’t left my vocabulary yet.
I never “left” the church cause I didn’t know I could, or that there was anything “wrong” with it.
I love God, most of the time. Trusting His is more difficult than it has ever been, because now the things I was taught are being shaken. The only thing i can say I know without a doubt is that Jesus died for me, because He died for everyone in the world. So i’m included by default.
Our family moved a lot. We “happened” to be lead to a little community group of believers who do a couple once a weeknight house meeting and a Sunday morning community gathering, which I still naively call “church”.
I love what we do, whatever its called more than anything. I have learned that I am worth getting to know. I have learned that I have something to offer. I have learned that what I think and how I process is important to the others in our community of believers. I have learned that even I can bring insight to shift paradigms and mindsets.
I never learned those things in a large or small traditional type church setting.
But that’s just my experience.
#5 by Michelle on April 19, 2011 - 10:34 PM
could this be “Come out of her my people”?…I’ve been feeling for a long time that something is sadly wrong with the Church…I’ve been told I was a negative Christian…I feel like my eyes are open and everyone else has their head in the sand…
#6 by Dave Kirby on April 19, 2011 - 11:16 PM
I know the feeling. I feel like I’m the one always being negative, always criticizing. I’m really not trying to hawk a book, but check out my book. I’ll even send you a copy if you can’t afford it. Something has to change. The beginning of that change is people like you with a feeling that it must happen.
Your comment encouraged me tonight. I was feeling so alone, like I’m the only one thinking this stuff. Thanks for sharing.
#7 by Michelle on April 20, 2011 - 5:38 PM
found you on FB…linked from I forget his name…the one who wrote, “the day satan came calling”…I am interested in your book…but now I have so much reading to do…I might get it…saw it was available on Amazon…I use the Amazon Christianity forum…you might want to advertise it there…might find many takers…
#8 by Skip Rice on May 11, 2011 - 12:42 PM
Greetings my brother. Sorry I missed you before you left the Springs. Glad you are feeling better. Etc. Etc… Now, about the book, and the message…I am quite taken. I didn’t realize you were such a theologian. So we need to talk again. I want to know more about the book, the experiences that led that text, and so on. Can I interview you for the Show? Let me know. (Karen V. directed me to your Blog…intriguing). Blessings, Skip
#9 by Dave Kirby on May 12, 2011 - 6:22 PM
I’m not sure about “theologian.” Would love to talk more, and I’m absolutely available to talk on-air. Just shoot me an email, or I can give you a call.
And thank Karen for me for the recommendation
#10 by ineffablemuse on August 20, 2011 - 10:10 AM
I must say Dave, that you have an interesting blog. I like your posts, and I believe that you are a spiritual man intune and in love with God. However I do have to say this idea in regards to Christianity and ‘The Church’ are different from my view. Let me explain…
I do not and cannot view ‘The Church’ as a man made institution. It was instituted by Christ himself and his believers are the heart, hands and feet of Christ. The unfortunate thing is that his believers are sinners, none of which are perfect like Christ. I don’t feel that it’s fair it is to judge a church by it’s followers/sinners because of that very reason. There are a lot of things wrong with the collective group of denominations that call themselves Christian, no one church can escape critism. But there is a lot of good as well… I’ve seen both, yet I choose to focus on the good and I let the good lead me. What I wish would change is that we as Christian people would unite as one body in Christ, because that’s what Christ demands of us. When I see that we are all arguing with one another, it makes me sad. It’s unbelievable to me that there are 15,000 (I am not sure but I think that is about right) different denominations and they all believe something slightly different. For this reason alone I don’t like to tell people what denomination I belong to, I would rather they see Christ in me (hopefully) before they are blinded by their judgments and pre-concieved notions.
With that being said, my heart goes out to anyone who has ever been scandelized, victimized, or otherwise hurt by any one member or group of members of any church. Your book “The Church Must Die” (though I haven’t read it) is probably accurate, except I would change the title to “The People of the Church Must Die In Christ” (there is probably a better way to word this). I see people attending my place of worship every week who do not have Christ in their heart, and this breaks mine to pieces. The words Jesus on the cross come to mind “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. I believe that the majority of those who really need saving today belong to a church, and this includes some of it’s leaders. This is my constant prayer for Christianity as a whole.
Thanks for allowing me to share! May God bless you abundantley.
#11 by Dave Kirby on August 30, 2011 - 1:41 PM
I don’t think we are that far apart. I separate the church into what I call the “big C” and “little c” church. The big C church is the people of God, saved by grace through the atoning work of Christ. It is this body of believers against whom the very gates of hell will not prevail. The little c church is the institution of man that has been built up in the name of Jesus. It is the religion, the rules, the regulations and judgment that have actually worked in opposition to the true church and kingdom of God.
It is against the little c church that I write. I pray that the religion and institution called Christianity, with all it’s baggage and negative connotations, might be torn down. In it’s place, I believe it is time for the true church of Jesus Christ, the people, the ekklesia, to rise up and take their rightful place in love and communion with Him and each other.
I really appreciate your words. I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just have a calling and a passion to dismantle the walls of religion, that the kingdom of God might emerge victorious.
#12 by internet elias on September 27, 2011 - 7:14 AM
Enjoyed reading all the comments…so very much. And like many, God is increasing my awareness of the apostate little ‘c’…church. And He is squeezing my heart about changing it…in myself. It is ‘I’ who needs to take up the cross and ‘follow.’ It is ‘I’ who needs to get it right. The true Body of Christ will remain ‘in the world but not of the world.’ Christ asks us to be a ‘candle’ in the darkness. He is the oil that fuels the lamp. Without Him we give no Light. Serious stuff…Christianity.
Glad I found your site. I am encouraged.
#13 by deirdreofthesorrows on October 6, 2011 - 8:36 AM
Very interesting to read your views about the death of christianity.
I was converted four years ago – I say ‘converted’ because that’s what I was taught to call it by my church. It makes it sound like they had the biggest hand in it. In fact what happened was that I began to open my mind to the possibility of a loving God. (I think I did this by myself – perhaps God helped me a little – I still don’t know). Before I ‘became a Christian’ (again, their terminology, not mine) I believed in very little. I despised anything new age, anything ‘spiritual’ whereby I was supposed to call on an external force; if I were to label myself as something, it would be a nihilist. I didn’t set out to do evil, but I didn’t set out to do good, either. What was the point?
Believing in God gave me a reason to change my behaviour. Reading the bible, I had that common experience that he was talking to me, that every word could be updated miraculously to my modern situation. I was filled with hope and positive energy. I wanted to rush out and tell people what I had learnt: that I had been unhooked from the matrix. It was like discovering magic was real. All I had to do was believe and it could work for me, too.
I’m not sure that any of this is relevant to you or what you are trying to discuss on this site. But when I read your post today it struck a chord.
I have been disappointed by my church. It happened to be the setting for my decision to trust in the idea of God. The congregation believed God arranged it that way; I’m still not sure. To begin with they told me God had set me free; that the shackles of the secular world would fall away. However, at the same time, they began to bind me with shackles of their own. It was true, they said, that I was now set free by Christ; that all I had to do was believe. However, to know that I was growing as a Christian, changes would be obvious. The implication was that I would become more like them. They believed there was one road and I was just at the start of it. Because they were further along I would need to play catch up and of course it would be wrong to question where they led me because they had been travelling the road for longer. They knew every twist and turn. They, in short, were closer to God.
So, very slowly, and then much more quickly, until it became at quite breakneck speed, as though they had been holding back a great flood for a time and could now let it go, they began to train me in the right ways of christian thinking. To try and paraphrase them (not an easy job) I would describe the basic tenets in the following way:
1) God loves me. But I am ignorant of his ways. I should always be humble and gracious and accept – without questioning – the teaching of those who have been christians for longer.
2) This involves accepting some beliefs that the secular world has brainwashed me into thinking are untenable. For example, I must revise my ideas about the equality of women and whether all denominations (especially catholics) will really make it into heaven.
3) We are saved through faith. But good works prove your faith. If you don’t do good works you can’t really be growing as a christian. And the kind of good works we are talking about are very visible ones to the church. You must, for example, be on every sunday rota – washing up, creche, sunday school (under twelves only for women), coffee shop. If anyone in the church asks you to do something for them for free – even if it’s something for which you’d normally be paid – then you must agree without hesitation. This doesn’t apply for non-christians, of course. They should always pay you.
4) The church family comes before your blood family. Even if your daughters are suffering from your absence due to church committments. Even if, in your heart of hearts, you are questioning whether arranging the flowers on a sunday morning is really more important than spending time with them.
5) Of course enthusiasm in new christians is to be applauded. But you must understand how the church institution works. It has been going for a long time – much longer than you. So don’t try and shake it up. Don’t question things that have been set in stone for generations. For example, your idea of a food bank for the needy in the community is a really nice one, but it’s just not how this church works. Have you ever thought of baking cakes for the coffee shop instead?
Forgive me if I offend here. That really isn’t my intention. Of course, there were people at church who didn’t feel this way and who were mightily upset that they couldn’t tell me so upfront – from the pulpit, so to speak. But my point is, they were gagged. I would never have known they existed unless I had stumbled upon them in a clandestine way.
I understand that the term ‘christian’ can cover a wide range of beliefs and practices. And I don’t want to upset anyone who calls themself by that name and behaves and believes very differently to me. I also understand that christians, by their very nature, must believe wholeheartedly in how they choose to live their life.
However, for me (and everyone comes to ‘faith’ in a very personal way) being a christian is all about asking questions. If I can’t question what the bible tells me, what other christians tell me, what my conscience sometimes appears to be telling me, then how can I claim personal integrity? How can I convince others that I believe every step of the path I walk?
My ideal church would be somewhere that we are encouraged to question all the time. Where no-one tuts under their breath or goes silent because you have voiced a difficult concern. Where ‘graciousness’ isn’t a phrase used to try and gag you because you might upset the sensibilities of a long established institution.
I have dreamed of being ‘in service’ to my God. Of going out into this fallen world and really helping people, rescuing them from pits of poverty, loneliness, despair. Instead, I find myself apologising for my christianity most of the time. The only good thing I can say is that I am in a constant dialogue with my God, asking him the questions I dare not voice to anyone less loving, less embracing and forgiving than him.
Thanks for your site. It’s so good to hear what others have to say.
#14 by Dave Kirby on November 15, 2011 - 3:39 PM
I’m sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your comment. I’ve been dealing with some health problems, and it’s been hard for me to keep up with everything.
I was moved to tears hearing your story of a loving God who pursued you. “It was like discovering that magic was real” I love that line and can relate.
I think many of us dream of a church like you have described, and hopefully God will bring it about in our lifetime. Great to have you as part of the family!
#15 by josh on February 25, 2012 - 10:47 PM
Wow…. This is awesome that a page like this actually exsists. But before I type my story I’ma send this as a test message to see if it goes thru.
#16 by Dave Kirby on February 26, 2012 - 8:00 PM
Thanks for visiting the blog. I haven’t been posting much over the past couple of months because of some health problems, but hope to get started again soon.
#17 by Makala Doulos on March 3, 2012 - 11:49 PM
My path away from Christianity into oneness with Christ!
Orthodoxy without obedience does not yield renewal. But fully yielding to the Truth brings radical transformation. My life is proof of that.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
~ Colossians 3:1-4
It is still a little hard for me to share this story. i get tempted by lies like:
> it’s too outlandish
> it has been too short a time since the transformation… no one will believe it is real…
> There is still so much wreckage (so many hurt people), so what if the change is real in me?…
But God! (oh how i love that phrase in His Word). And thankfully, it is all about Him anyway! So, may all who read this get an even better opinion of Who God is, and what He can do in a life.
Semper coram Deo et soli Deo Gloria!
After 35 years of sincere, and even zealous Christianity (but one fouled with a view that i had the right to addiction and disobedience), the whole thing crashed big-time (family, job, freedom, health, finances, etc. all ruined). And from childhood, i had literally lived in a state of high-anxiety, stress, emotional pain, and abject fear of eternity. Everything about life was hard; like swimming through molasses.
Then, about 7 November 2010, I went through a 35-day catharsis at an addiction recovery program called The Colony of Mercy at America’s Keswick. 1st was true and ABSOLUTE surrender to Him, followed by an intense period of emotional pain and ending with a dreadful / wonderful vision of actually being killed, but somehow staying alive. Upon talking to the chaplain later about the vision, he said, “you know… Keswick is like an elephant graveyard. People come here to die. They just don’t know it.” Oh my… what?
This started an incredible 40-day period of fasting and prayer. It was as if God took the prior 35 years of my stumbling walk with Him, and pulled all of that out of the savings account He had created at the beginning of my walk with Him back in 1974 – and poured it back into me, with interest added!
As I back-filled my abandoned self-identity with what the Bible says i am in Christ (about 80+ things right?), all the pain, fear, doubt, anxiety – ALL of it – went away. He did it. As i abide right now (“now”), in Him, there is absolutely no fear, no pain, no doubt, no worry, no anxiety… There is only Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and even self-control. What’s up with that?
What happened to me? i’m was not trying to over-intellectualize here. i was (and am still) having some off-the-hook experiences with this too. Dreams, visions, sights, sounds, understandings, empowerment (all – so far – aligned with Scripture)… This was wonderful, but really weird, and definitely not part of my religious background.
Then, a beautiful brother, an author; one with a testimony worth listening to – and a proven track record – sent me this note:
My Dear Brother,
Laying aside the possibility that you are enjoying the wonders of having gone stark raving mad, I would surmise that you have come to understand that you are utterly one with Christ.
One thing is certain, which ever case it may be, do not attempt to understand. Oneness with the Lord is inexplicable. Further, do not look for a cure!
A delighted brother, (name)
Wow. Surely it’s true. For believers, Jesus is in us. But it is just as true that we are in Him.
#18 by Jacob is Depressed or frustrated or right. Not sure which one. on April 21, 2013 - 10:41 AM
I believe in Jesus and everything he said. I felt like I had an emotional love towards him as a friend and father. After continued failure, abiding by the new testament imperatives/sanctification, I just now believe and respect it all. I fear God, but am now ok with polishing shoes in heaven hoping I just get in, although I know im saved by Grace and Grace alone. Jesus said, if you love me, you will follow my commands. Well, i know you can only do that through the power of the holy spirit, and thats only if your willing to allow him…right? If thats the case, why do I allow my Nature to rule my thought life, decisions and feelings and not my new spirit? oh wait i know, Christianity says that if you read the word its like pumping gas into your holy spirit gas tank. well, maybe so, but i am not a huge fan of reading the word because it continuously shines a light on how many suggestions that are given by the new testament writers on how to live your life. (which are totally overwhelming and most if not all of my prayers are “forgive me for this or that” and “help me to be more like this or that”. Not, “thank you for letting me be me where I am at, because im mentally exhausted”) I would have like to see how well those writers would have done in this culture of naked women everywhere….. constantly,…… cable, internet, bills, drugs and alcohol at your fingertips to reduce your stress, list goes on. The women back then were wearing robes, they had no stimuli from internet and cable influencing their every subconscious thought, no fast cars, rock and roll, lets be real. When you allow 2000 years to go buy its allows evil to build up to a impossible level to deal with. I will never believe it was the same back then. It wasnt, i was a philosophy/history major. I have a medical degree now, but thats besides the point.
Perhaps I am messed up from being raised in an extreme pentecostal church, my parents got burnt and realized it was a cult essentially, left when i was in 7th grade and have not been to church since. I am now 35. I have tried church for the last 7 years and its just weird. the whole idea is really weird to me, from the music, to a lesson and then all these plastic people keeping appearances acting like they love the holy life. Bullshit!! I love sin!! until i suffer the consequences physically, emotionally and spiritually. Sinning is a hell of a drug, like cocaine. (one of my fav’s…gave it up though). Who doesnt like free sex, drugs, porn, clubs, tons of money, punching an a *ssHo*e in the face if you need to, mansions, exotic cars, power, fame, lust, ….ect. Why do i have to act like I dont like those things, because now that I am a christian i hate the things God hates. Well, i will refuse and resist those sins because I respect that God could crush me like a bug and he is letting me live with him because all I had to do was believe in Jesus. So, just based on those 2 ideas, i can atleast refuse to sin or cut it down alot. IF you go to church people act like they are repulsed by the sin lifestyle. Most of those liars and doing that crap in secret and meeting secretly at “accountability groups”. When i first started to attend church again in my late 20’s, i felt led to stand in front of my church and admit i had a porn addiction and would be offering a private group with a workbook by mark Laaser to break porn addiction. Not one guy came to talk or called me after that!! HUndreds of men came to this talk i did. The church has no transparency!!! I think christian men are pussies. i cant stand it. I sick of it. I am sick of the sight of church buildings that somehow want to represent that all the people in there are good and holy.
I sick of how they dress, i am sick of how i feel like i need to cover tattoos there, i hate the fake smiles and fake friendships. I hate how long church is, I hate that they think God is a republican, I hate how the church needs huge funds to keep funding all the bills that a church racks up. Are there pastors receiving salaries in the bible? (I really don’t know answer) Practically none of my friends are Christians and all think the idea of church is just plain old weird. NOt good, not bad..just weird. what do i say to that? so do I !! I cool with JEsus though. thats what I say. i enjoy talking about my faith or lack of in coffee shops, pubs, iphone and living rooms. I feel lifted after these moments more than any other, because i feel the struggle others face, its real, its raw. There is trust, and where there is trust is real speak. real speak leads to real growth.
that felt good to write…obviously have some aggression built up. sorry for rambling.