Hard Conversations

Over the last few weeks, as I have been preparing to leave the Christian place of work that I have been at for the last four and a half years, and so I have been telling a few more people that I have lost my faith.

There have been some very hard conversations. Telling those who knew you loved God or who thought you were called to a life devoted to God’s outworking through you, that you have lost the fundamental belief in the God they love and worship, is fairly brutal.

There has been a range of reactions. Some of the people I have told already regularly talked with me about the deep things in life, like meaning, hope, purpose and reality. These people seemed to know subconsciously that I had lost faith before I told them. As if the final piece of the jigsaw clicked into place and all the times we have spoken over the last couple of years came together and made sense. Others have withdrawn from me and now await me to leave so that they don’t have to interact with someone who no longer believes the same things that they still believe. Yet others are trying to convert me back or ask deliberately hard or tricky questions in the hope that they will catch me out or help me to think about things in a way I have not thought about them before.

The hardest has been those who have told me that they are really sorry for me. That they are going to think and pray for me, and then come back to me when they know what God wants to say. Is God not able to tell me Himself? It isn’t like I have my fingers in my ears and my back deliberately turned towards Him. I have screamed in pain and I have searched with tears, but all I have found is dust and silence. Can they not see that their words are dusty air, stale with fabricated hopes in religious fables?

Sometimes I fear to tell people. For instance, I told someone who is also fairly close to becoming an elder within their church that I had lost my faith, and having come from a similar background, being at similar states of life and having similar futures on offer, they were confused and shocked. They wanted to talk to their wife and pray things through before we go for a couple of beers in a couple of nights time. They want to pull me from the place I am in as if I am down a hole with no way to leverage myself out. I wonder what they are going to say…

Having told one of my brothers that I think God should work on more than just the emotional plain if He is real, I ended up having a conversation with my father. I was told that I am blocking the river with a lie and forcing the water of my thoughts to get further and further away from its intended destination. I was then told that I am not going through doubt, rather I am going to a bad church, one that isn’t supporting me enough. My Dad hasn’t asked me where I find myself, rather he takes second-hand knowledge from a single conversation with one of my brothers and distilled it down into his narrative. I hope he found the answers he provided helpful because they did nothing but upset and hurt me.

What seems abundantly obvious is that people fear someone who has lost their faith. Those who are happy to engage are usually those who lock their belief up within a fortress and do not allow doubt to scale the tower or for questions to be allowed to siege the walls. People want to question my questioning, but they will not question their own answers.

A couple of people have thanked me for providing the ability for them to realise it is ok to ask questions. I have seen them begin to unpack their beliefs and study them in the light of day, away from religious jargon and propaganda. Some will think that I am leading people to hell, but I think I am empowering those who want to honesty live in the reality of their beliefs to do so one step at a time as they question and think for themselves. They may still land in the arms of Christ, but they also might not, I refuse to deliberate and decide for them but decide they must with all honesty as they seek and ask.

I don’t have any answers for a safe way to tell Christians that you no longer believe in the God that they think is the foundation to everything within this world. But what I do know is that living a lie as your world and keeping the reality of your mind and heart hidden within yourself is a sure way to produce bitterness and to begin to resent everything in the end.

There have been a lot of hard conversations, and there will be many more I am sure. But hard conversations enable honest convictions, and I would always rather be honest than a fraud.

_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 🙂


When Belief Dies #72 – 'Qualia' with Sharon Dirckx When Belief Dies

This week Sam and Daniel are joined by Sharon Dirckx. The video version of this conversation can be found here on our YouTube channel 12 hours after the audio version goes live. Sharon is a Senior Tutor at OCCA The Oxford Center for Christian  Apologetics. Originally from a scientific background, she has a PhD in brain imaging from the University of Cambridge and has held research positions at the University of Oxford. In this conversation, we look at consciousness and Qualia. Qualia are defined as individual instances of subjective, conscious experience. To find/follow Sharon: Twitter Resources mentioned in this episode: The OCCA Am I Just My Brain? by Sharon Dirckx   Does consciousness point to God? Philip Goff & Sharon Dirckx We hope you enjoy our show. When Belief Dies aims to honestly reflect on faith, religion and life. Your support via Patreon enables us to cover the costs of running this show and look to the future to make things even better as we build upon what we already have in the works. Please take a look and consider giving. Alternatively, you can support the show with a one-off gift via PayPal. Use the following link to navigate to the website, to find us on social media and anywhere else we might be present online. #Podcast #Deconstruction #God #Agnostic #Christian #Atheism #Apologetics #Audio #Question #Exvangelical #Deconversion #SecularGrace #Exchristian
  1. When Belief Dies #72 – 'Qualia' with Sharon Dirckx
  2. When Belief Dies #71 – 'Connection to Nature' with Sam Gandy
  3. Big Update (Welcome Kirsty!)
  4. When Belief Dies #70 – 'So it begins…' with Roger Bretherton
  5. When Belief Dies #69 – 'Through the Looking-Glass' with Bryan Todd

4 thoughts on “Hard Conversations

  1. Thanks for sharing. Must have been so tough going through that detangling process. Thankfully my circumstances meant I could deconstruct away from thy church I’d spent the last 17 years and had already had to step down from my responsibilities due to health before my deconstruction began proper but you’ve had to go through this in a more public way. Hope you’re good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good mate. I often wonder if there are good and bad elements to both. Deconverting away from church, and deconverting in church.


  2. Hey Sam,

    Hope you’re well.

    Glad that I get your blog posts – they resonate with me.

    Keep it up.

    Hopefully you’ve addressed the topic about being married to a Christian spouse J – finding it a bit of a challenge on occasions.

    I guess there are no hard and fast rules to adopt as every relationship is so different and personality types vary.

    I have found that understanding how to handle “trigger words” has helped me a great deal. I used to react in the past internally which made me a frustrated git but with time it has certainly gotten easier.

    Keep well mate


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Don,

      You know I haven’t written much about my wife and me whilst I’ve been deconstructing.

      I’m planning to in-depth though, and I point to it from time to time on the blog.

      I hope you are doing well?

      Sam ✌️


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