One of the most difficult things for a Christian is to walk away from the faith they’ve known and cherished. For some, it’s been our entire lives. Perhaps for those who’ve never really been on the inside it’s difficult to understand what the big deal is. It’s big, really BIG. It’s also very complicated.
Whoa, you stress me out, you kill me
You drag me down, you fuck me up
We’re on the ground, we’re screaming
I don’t know how to make it stop
I love it, I hate it, and I can’t take it
But I keep on coming back to youFrom the song “Back to you” sung by Louis Tomlinson and Bebe Rexha
It is common for christians to ask, “how can you walk away,” and then follow up with why they think one would leave. They must have left because they were hurt, because they weren’t in a a good church, because they wanted something that the Bible doesn’t allow, etc.
First, let’s clarify what I think is an assumption behind the question. When a Christian asks how can you walk away from the faith/church/Jesus/God, the assumption is how can you walk away from truth, from something great and beautiful?
The thing is, ultimately we walk away because we no longer believe it to be true. We no longer see it as great and beautiful. We might still hold onto some things but we no longer believe it to be worthy of our surrender.
So the simple answer to the “how can you walk away” question is that we no longer believe the claims of christianity to be true. We no longer believe the bible to be divine revelation. We no longer see humanity as depraved and needing to be reconciled to a divinity.
It’s ok to walk away from something that no longer suits you, no longer makes sense, no longer measures up to your observations and experiences of life here and now.
I’m not here to de-convert anyone or to convince someone who believes that they shouldn’t. My interest is in coming alongside those who’ve already come out on the other side or who are in the process of doubt and deconstruction and feel alone in the process. Those who aren’t sure anymore but also know their church community is not a safe place where they can freely and honestly wrestle with the issues and red flags.
It’s ok to walk away but walking away is difficult and there is not a one size fits all approach. Each one of us needs to be given the time and space we need to figure things out regardless of where we come out on the other end.
If you find yourself in that space, in that uneasy place, know that it’s ok. It’s ok to walk away. There are great things to be discovered on the other side of faith and you are not alone.