Feedback discussions - Michael Strezinski
suggests I left Christianity due to a bad experience.
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Strezinski
To: <Steve Locks>
Sent: 15 January 2000 23:42
I am never interested in a confrontation or a debate. I do not respond in looking for one either. I do believe, however, that the holy damnation you speak of is either a perverted impression from a sour past or a reaction to a holy rollin' self righteous individual whom the Bible refers to as a pharosee. (hypocrites) Either way, it is our choice in what we believe.
When we begin to categorize an entire religion as shallow because of an unwanted experience then we begin to fall back into the times of Hitler when he categorized many races as "bad." Do we complain or do we search ourselves for an answer in how to properly react. Wether you believe in God or not the Bible, especially Psalms and Proverbs, have some very powerful messages for everyone. God Bless You.
----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Locks <Steve Locks>
To: Michael Strezinski
Sent: 16 January 2000 20:03
Subject: Re: Footprints
Thank you for your email. Your remarks are similar to some that I have
received before and I will try and make myself clearer both in this email and
by making an adjustment to my story soon. Also, don't worry - I'm not
interested in confrontation or debate either, just communication. I've also
just come to the end of a long debate and I've got a bit of debate
If you read my site carefully you will see that I did not have any
significant bad experiences of Christianity when I was a Christian. I think
that is an important point that I make a few times in my site. Neither was
I a believer in hell or noticed that much hell-belief in the Christians
around me for the vast majority of my time as a Christian. So I really
don't have a sour reaction that you suspect. I did worry that the
concept exists at all within Christianity though, but even if it did not,
I still would have left Christianity due to the material I read and the
internal problems and concepts I saw within Christian theology.
I have only a few stories from people who did have really bad experiences.
There was a message on the "ex-tian" (i.e. ex-Christian) mailing list from
someone who was surprised that so many of us had good experiences, as she
didn't. So I think leaving Christianity due to a bad experience or disgust at
a certain preacher etc, although it happens, is relatively rare. It is
certainly not why I left, too.
Others may think I did not understand the problems with Christianity
properly and of course there is much debate all over the Internet about
whether these invalidate Christianity or not. This is not something I wish
to get into with you, rather just explain that my reasons for leaving were
not as you suggested.
I would also like to point out that I cannot believe things out of "choice."
I can only believe things that convince me - and after considerable research
and thinking, Christianity no longer convinced me that it is true, but rather
I became convinced that it was not true. I can assure you that it was a
moment of great shock and sadness for me initially, and something that very
few Christians imagine will (or even could) happen to them. However, it was
not possible to consciously will myself to believe something which became
untenable. As I mention on my site, I then became surprised to find that an
alternative world-view, without Christianity, was so enriching, which
certainly wasn't what I was expecting.
Also I don't categorise all of Christianity as shallow. I have many Christian
friends who I get on with very well and like immensely. I certainly hope I am
not a religious "racist". I go to dinner with my Christian friends and we
play with each others' children, exchange gifts, go to the pub etc, all the
usual friendly stuff. You will see that the first site I link to in my main
links section is the Ontario Consultants on religious tolerance. I also
still occasionally read the likes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Thomas
Merton for their general thoughts and thoughtfulness.
On my site, I am not trying to upset Christians, although I will engage in
dialogue if asked and speak frankly because otherwise it seems like
censorship of thought. Mostly though, I am trying to describe what it
is like to leave Christianity and why people do. I'm sure if you read
my writings you will get a better impression of my true feelings which
are not the way you have characterised them.
I am sorry if my site upset you in some way. I have tried very carefully
to be fair on my site which is a lot less scornful than some of the other
sites critical of Christianity that you may find.
All my writings can be found via the links that you can find in the "Part 1"
section just after the preface, the rest are external links.
Thanks for your question, it is a frequently asked one and so I have answered
with a moderately full reply so that I can refer people to it in the future.
In summary, it was mainly reading of psychology, comparative religion,
history and thinking through some knotty problems that lead to my
deconversion, not a bad experience.
Leaving Christianity (hundreds of deconversion stories):