This blog post is going to be a little vague, as I don’t want to name the charity I work for, instead I want to reflect on the implications of landing a new job at a secular place of work.
I have mentioned a few times that this blog is about 6-9 months behind the current times, so as I write this in Nov 2019, I am about to hand my notice in at the job I currently have, at a Christian charity.
It feels like a massive next chapter in my life. My current job is very comfortable, and I am, in all honesty, doing very well at it. I manage a team of 17 people within a first contact and case progression team. But before that I have spent the last seven years within different IT jobs, four of which have been within IT at this Christian charity.
The new job is also within IT Leadership but set at one of the biggest universities in the North of England. I am massively excited and massively nervous. It is going to be a big change, and alongside all the work side of this change there is going to be a massive impact on the lie I have had to live out each day at my current place of work.
I will no longer be unable to tell people I used to be a Christian and that I now no longer believe that the God that the Bible professes is real.
You see, living in a place where I am unable to openly admit doubt has been crippling to me. I can’t have the books I have been reading on my desk. I can’t live in a way which backs up what I believe. I can’t talk freely about the life I am living. I have to pretend and lie to myself and others, because I am a leader of a team within a Christian charity.
It’s been really upsetting. Even joking about doubt has caused people who I class as friends to back away from me at work. But that is how you test the water isn’t it? At least that is how I test things. Joke about them and see what people say or do in reaction, then you know if you can be open and honest about what is really going on.
Christian’s don’t want to be around people who are doubting. Because doubt is infectious. Why do you think we are encouraged to go to church each and every Sunday, as well as all the midweek meetings that are put on? If people are not consistently focused on their specific religious belief, then they cool down and stop believing.
It has been explained to me like this before. You, the individual, are a lump coal, and the church is the fireplace, with God being the fire. We are called to be in the church and ablaze with Him. If we move out of the church, it is like a lump of coal that falls from the fireplace, it might stay hot for a little while, but before too long it cools and is of no use. You need to be in the fireplace and engaged with the fire.
But that just sounds so much like the sort of thing leaders within churches would say, to keep people attending and being part of the body. Christianity, like all religions within this world, is designed by humans to bring people in and then keep them in. I am sure many church leaders honestly believe that Jesus is real and that the message they share is salvation, but that doesn’t mean they are right, or that they should be so blind to the truth of what they are doing.
I won’t go through a list of religions, but throughout history, and even today, if you leave the religion you are part of you commit apostasy (and become an apostate), and you are shunned, sometimes threatened with death, and sometimes actually killed.
Religions are powerful memes, I am hoping to come back to memes at a later date, after reading a bit more on them. Needless to say, religions are designed to protect themselves and to replicate their ideas outwards.
It’s brutal losing faith. One of the hardest things has been watching those I called friends, at work, church and in my personal life, drift away from me as I become cynical towards religious beliefs and start to pick up on the throw away comments they make about God and life. I regularly get texts with scripture or the theological unpacking of scripture sent to me on WhatsApp or iMessage. As if a simple verse or idea would be enough to draw me back in now.
Leaving my current place of work and being able to live openly in a secular place of work is going to be extremely helpful to seeing the bigger picture around me, rather than having the narrow picture, painted by Western 21st century Christianity repeatedly shoved in my face each and every day. I will also be able to engage with the student groups and attend different events related to religion and questioning. It is actually all very exciting.
I will be able to openly ask questions, read and think.
Thank you for your support, encouragement and kind words. Thank you for journeying this with me.
_End of Blog Blurb_
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.
Podcast: If you like what you read then you could always check out the podcast ‘When Belief Dies’, it is available on all major podcasting platforms or you can listen via YouTube. Dave and I upload and publish via Anchor FM each Wednesday at 7 am.
Grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation: I am massively dyslexic. It has taken me years to get to the level I am currently at with writing and I have done this mainly through reading. I want to be better and ask you, reader, to please forgive any errors in my writing. I hope you notice improvement upon improvement over the coming years.
Time Frame: This blog is roughly six to nine months behind where I currently am at in my journey out of religion. It’s important to remember that when reading and commenting.
If you want to connect with me, then you can get in touch via any of the social media links that can be found at the top of the page. If you want to get every post straight to your inbox then you can do that by either following directly via WordPress or with your email address, whichever you prefer – the links are to the right.
I’ll see you back here at the same time next week 🙂
Farewell For Now – When Belief Dies
- Farewell For Now
- When Belief Dies #100 – 'Psychedelics, Philosophy & God' with Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes
- When Belief Dies #99 – 'Open and Relational Theology' with Thomas Jay Oord
- When Belief Dies #98 – 'The Take Over' with Daniel Kelly & Roger Bretherton
- When Belief Dies #97 – 'The End?' with Daniel Kelly