cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I stopped believing in the faith
that shaped my life. I would compare it to living with a persistent,
unrelenting ache, and then one day, suddenly realizing the ache is gone.
I was the one ruminating and contemplating, but as I changed one belief,
related topics would reshuffle, and sometimes I was surprised when I
heard myself making a statement that represented the results of this
quickly evolving process. My brain was realigning what I viewed as true
and what I viewed as false, occasionally informing me of its progress by
letting me hear myself say something that reflected the massive
internal belief system reorganization that was taking place.
The driving reason for my rejection of the Christian faith was simple:
Christians are not people who have been supernaturally changed and the
new birth doesn’t work. After living and leading in the church for
decades, I saw no consistent evidence of an ongoing supernatural
presence—and I wanted to see that evidence with all that was in me.
The final disconnect came in the months after I stopped attending
church. With time and freedom to fully reconsider the tenets of my
faith, I decided I no longer believed in the teachings of Christianity
and admitted to myself that these teachings defied not only what I had
seen and experienced, but my sense of logic as well.
Although I wanted to keep believing, as much as faith had been my
bedrock—the steady ground on which I had built my life—I had now
traveled to its unexpected edge. I found myself dangling from a
precarious cliff as my grip began to loosen, and eventually, I fell—or
perhaps it would be better to say—started to fly.
felt ashamed of how easy it is to see the truth once you are willing.
How could I have been so blind? How could I have gone for so many years
convinced of so many things that are so obviously illogical and untrue?
And yet I missed the warmth of Christian fellowship that feels like
forever, but vanishes in the wind when you walk away from it. I was
profoundly sad in my awareness that I no longer had a tribe.
What if, right now, I could swallow a pill that would bring my old faith
back? Would I do it? Would I take the pill? The answer is no, because
the Christian faith is not based on truth…”
– Tim Sledge in Goodbye Jesus: An Evangelical Preacher’s Journey Beyond Faith