Thank you, “Wolf-man” Michael, for your de-conversion story!

Feredir28’s tale is as follows and is also posted on the De-Conversion Stories page.

“I grew up in a religious household. I was “born again” at age seven, alongside with all my brothers and sisters of Christ. I attended Bible camps and Study groups. I sincerely believed in my faith and sought salvation and peace. I accepted Jesus into my heart and he was always with me through hard times. I was open about my faith for many years, evangelizing to the lost. I loved Jesus, he sacrificed himself for me, and the best way to repay him was to reach out to the lost and make them humble as they should for their savior.

“By the time I was a freshman in High School, I was already tired of this world and could not wait to go to Heaven. Heaven, paradise with no suffering where everyone was happy. I could not wait, and I was not afraid to dying because I knew I was saved. I was not suicidal, although I just deeply desired a happy place and death was the doorway I had to pass to get there.

“However, through High School I met a small group of heathens. They were not christians, some were philosophical or even Satanists. Some were fans of alchemy (not in the literal sense). What they all had in common was no faith in Christianity. I did not upfront evangelize them, I was just open about my faith around them. They were a tolerable bunch. over time, they pointed a few things about Christian theology I did not take the time to think about (such as prayer on your deathbed as a get out of jail free card) and they introduced me to alchemy and philosophical ideas.

“Nearing the end of High School and becoming a responsible adult, I started questioning my own faith. I was already aware of certain stories in the Bible that made little sense. For instance, in Matthew it says after Jesus’ death the dead rose from their graves and walked among the living in the streets of Jerusalem for all to see. However, this does not appear in any historical source at all (and this is definitely something someone would have reported or take note of). After reading the Old testament fully (which they did not really do in Bible study – and for obvious reasons, one of them being the Bible is not something you should give to kids). Soon, I started questioning whether Jesus was the savior. I concluded he did not meet the requirements (and it would not until much later that I came to the conclusions that Jesus probably never existed at all). How then did I explain the feeling of Jesus presence amongst me during my youth? I learned how the brain can produce powerful and very convincing images and connections. How could I tell that what I was feeling was a supernatural entity or electric signals spreading through my synapses. Hundreds of studies showed that the brain is fully capable of producing these feelings on its own when certain electric signals stimulate certain areas of the brain. These same experiences is what convinces people were abducted by aliens (and as a Christian I thought these people were nuts) It seemed more logical to accept that the “feelings of presence” I had was all in my head.

“At that time I left Christianity, I still believed in God, and I considered becoming Jewish and wait for the real Messiah to come. I did not inform my parents, my mother was and still is a Christian (and a creationist). Shortly after discarding Christianity, I began to question religion. They seem to be too man made, and there is no evidence to support them. I then started questioning my beliefs about God. Through logical thinking, a personal God could not have existed. So I settled with deism, however that only lasted for a week. Where did the creator come from? Was it always here? If so, then why couldn’t the universe? I then realized I was an agnostic atheist a the age 17.

“When I entered college, I desired more knowledge. It may surprise many, but I did not know a thing about evolution until a year later. Some people will say to be an atheist to accept evolution, or vice versa. I can personally state that is absolutely not true. I had no thoughts or comments on the origin of life or the universe, and the truth is I did not have to. Atheism does not require that I should pick an answer or explanation. I could live for the rest of my life and not know all the answers but still remain an atheist. All an atheist is is someone who lacks a belief in God, that is I no longer buy what religions sell me. I remain unconvinced that there is any proof for any particular deity. I later accepted evolution as a fact because we can observe it directly and years later I accepted the Big Bang because it’s the best well-supported explanation we have.

“Around the time I entered college, I examined the world through a secular vision and realized religion is not only irrational and ridiculous but also very dangerous. And once a evangelical, always an evangelical. To this day, I am an open atheist (my family knows) and I try to reach out publicly or through the internet to explain why people should not be religious and think for themselves.”

–“Wolf-man” Michael

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