Okay. I will give you that reason. It comes from an on-line friend of mine who is also one of my favorite Christian writers. Her name is April Kelsey, and she operates one of the best Christian blogs on planet Earth. It is the Revolutionary Faith//Taking back Christianity blog. April was raised from earliest childhood in a well-known Christian fundamentalist/pentecostal denomination called The Assemblies of God. Many of you are probably familiar with it, especially if you live in the American South.
April is a mature Christian in the best Biblical sense of that term. Her knowledge of the Bible is highly detailed and just plain outstanding. She is a well-educated person with undergraduate and graduate college degrees. She has lived several decades, experienced much of real life, and struggled with many things in life, including family-based child abuse that many of you might not have survived with your sanity intact. Just a few years ago, she abandoned the Christian fundamentalism she had held to for nearly her whole life. You may read about why she abandoned Christian fundamentalism by clicking on the following safe link:
Many people who leave Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism are so angry at these particular religious systems that they turn to atheism, agnosticism, or noneism—which (for those with talent) can be an opportunity for high drama. How? Just look:
I’m not just leaving fundamentalism Pastor Farley!!! I could go join a Lutheran or United Methodist Church tomorrow. But that is not good enough for you, you conceited, arrogant, lie-filled old windbag!!! I have decided to convert to atheism. My last prayer to God on this Earth as a fundie Christian was an imprecatory prayer—blaming you personally for turning me into an atheist. The scriptures say that whatsoever a Christian binds here on Earth will be bound in Heaven. I bound you for eternal destruction in Hell for what you did to me!!! Now get out of my way you vile, mean-spirited old coot. The atheism begins forever tomorrow, and it is all your fault—and your God knows it too.
A 180-degree turn like this dramatically underscores the leaving for their tormentors, and it stabs two rusty ice picks deep into the eyes of the fundie pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers, church members, and deceived parents who taught them packs of lies, brainwashed them, terrorized them, and otherwise abused them from earliest childhood—all in the name of Jesus.
Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical brainwashing from birth leave terribly deep and abiding scars. People who leave Fundieland and claim to be free of it are often still tightly in its grip on an unconscious level 50 years after their departure. You would be surprised at how many Christian fundamentalists turned atheist will stand on a soap box and argue vociferously that Christian fundamentalism is the one, only, and “true” Christianity that has ever existed on Earth—just to make it clear that they left behind “true” Christianity rather than all those “fake” Christianities out there.
I would submit here, and I think April Kelsey would agree with me to a large extent, that most of the people raised in Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches have never really experienced the authentic Jesus Christ, his love, and his grace. Rather, they have been the life-long victims of a purely American, man-made, plastic-pink-flamingo faith that has been abusing people and masquerading as authentic historical Christianity for only about the past 100 years. Therefore, the best reason to flee Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism is not to leave Jesus behind in an angry cloud of dust—but rather—to go out on your own for the first time in your life and find the authentic Jesus, the full measure of his grace, and the deepness of his love—in eight words—a faith not dominated by fear and abuse. Jesus himself has a promise for those who do:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)