I have deconverted.
As a boy, I was raised in a strict religious family, and I knew exactly how to behave. I was not a rebellious boy, and I tried to follow the rules. Sometimes I failed, but usually, I lived to the standard of a good boy.
The technical word for my religious experience is “sectarian.” I was not raised in anything like a controlling “cult.”
I had one problem with my religion. It wasn’t mine. I didn’t feel the need to make a decision; I only had to conform.
As I grew older, I had a faint nagging sense of doubt. Something kept telling me that I wasn’t being me. I was the person other people wanted me to be.
If you want to know where this ended, I found my own way. I liked the idea of following Jesus, so I did that. I didn’t like just following the restrictions and rules of other people, so I found a new church and some new friends.
I am still learning to be strong, on my own.
The words in the Bible are, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5: 1). I respect the good people who raised me, but I didn’t feel the freedom, with many of them.
Those Bible words were written to Christians, who belonged to a church. They were warned not to become slaves, in their religion.
I recommend this to everyone: Grow to be who you really are. Don’t be a sheep, be a shepherd.
There are places we shouldn’t go, and things we shouldn’t do. I know that, but I am sure that we must be mature and free, and then we should make good decisions. Many of my old friends, in my family church, seemed to just drift as they grew older, and now some of them don’t seem to believe anything.
Did you know, deconversion is happening to millions of people today? Strict religions and even political beliefs like Communism are losing the younger generation.
My experience is everyone’s experience now.
If we want to understand our modern world, it’s important to know this. Not much can hold the younger generation.
Where we live, there seem to be many refugees from Afghanistan. I think the Government puts them in some local hotels, and we see many of them on the streets. They have escaped from the Taliban government in their home country, which means they have escaped from a strict and controlling religion.
My new neighbours don’t seem to show much interest in the old religion. Almost two billion people are born into that community, and deconversion could radically change the world we live in:
Another strict religion, where I live, is Mormonism. I have always believed that those people never change, but deconversion is happening there too:
I was once invited to a semi-secret meeting in a private home. I had to be invited. The meeting was like Alcoholics Anonymous, with testimonials about personal struggles, and finding a new life. I was surprised; the place was full, and the attendees were dropouts from the Jehovah’s Witnesses:
If you do a web search with terms like “deconversion” you will find hundreds of testimonials from drop-outs.
The Bible promises us that we will know that we are at the end of this age in history, “That Day”, when we see the great “Falling Away.” I used to think that millions of Christians would quit their faith, and that might be true. What I didn’t expect was that a younger generation would fall away from everything.
I believe that I landed in a good place, and I hope many find the same experience. With social media everywhere, and available on common cell phones, we have access to a flood of new ideas, and new persuasion.
The whole world is learning new things, and millions are changing, deconverting. This has never happened before, in history, and it was promised:
And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24: 10 to 12)
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed. (2 Timothy 2: 3)