Life after Church

Last Month I turned thirty,  The Big 3-0….WOW.

And I completed two years of blogging.

I have to admit that since I no longer believe in God and lost my religion.  I find my life much more refreshing, but also at times much more mentally & emotionally challenging at times.  What I mean by that, is that I have learned to relax and enjoy life more, knowing that I only have one know.  (YOLO!!!)  To enjoy the little things in life.  However before I became a non-believer; church and prayer were used as stress reliever and a kinda placebo effect in making me feel better.  But now that placebo is gone, I have to learn with dealing with stress head on.

I sometimes wonder how does someone who is 40 or 50 handle their de-conversion.  Do they feel like they missed out on life?  Do they get the feeling that they wasted their life?  Cause I surely do feel that way sometimes.  I sometimes feel, that all that energy I have used doing countless hours of ministry work and going to church and praying.  I could’ve have actually done something with that time, that would have helped me out in my career.  That is probably the one regret I think about the most now.  That if it wasn’t for my religion & my faith, I could have been much farther in my career and developing career skillset.  That is something I constantly think of.  Well maybe I shouldn’t stress out about it too much, cause I do have my family and two beautiful kids.  So I guess I’ll mark that down in the win column.  And since de-converting, I have decided to take back control of my life and live it & enjoy it.

Last month, my wife and I we went to a special church service where they were doing a baby dedication.  It was at a friend of ours church.  This church is much more charismatic then the church we go to.  I don’t remember the fine details of the message, (I admit now whenever I go to church, I almost always tune out the message.)  But I do remember thinking to myself,  That this was crap.  The whole morning, the whole message, and the whole service.  I could’ve have been just as productive sitting on the couch watching T.V.  And my wife new I was irritated by these overly charismatic messages, cause they seem so much like group-think and a show.  That it is expected of you to scream, shout, and clap.  (And sometimes fall out)  I usually feel very uncomfortable in that environment cause I don’t mind faking it in church, as long as the only I have to do is stand, sit and clap.  But in these environment, sometimes that’s not good enough.  So on the way home, Mrs. Rodriguez asked me how was service? and what I thought of it.

And at first I tried to keep my cool, but I couldn’t.  I went off on a tangent of everything I thought of that service and every other church service.  I told her I thought it was crap, the whole thing was crap, and nothing but the crap from beginning to end.  In fact, I felt like I was wasting my time going to church.  I would be more productive looking at a wall.  And told her I no longer will be going to church.

—-So I now spend my Sundays starring at the wall.  (J/K).  No just joking.  I usually spend it grilling some food.  It is much more relaxing and productive than going to church.

About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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20 Responses to Life after Church

  1. Neil Rickert says:

    A bit of perspective from me.

    I dropped out of religion at around age 23. Several decades have passed since then, but I have no regrets about that decision. I also have no regrets about my time spent in religion. Yes, religion had been an important part of my life, but I spent far more time on academic studies (particularly mathematics) than I did on religion related studies.

    You ask about someone aged 40-50. I would guess it is far harder. For, by then, religious activity has become deeply ingrained in the way one lives one’s life, and has become an important part of ones friendships. I would have to say that I had it easy. I made my change at a time of transition between childhood and adulthood, at a time of letting go of childhood friends and making new friends. I was away from home (in graduate school). So there were few old ties to break, and I was making a fresh start anyway.

    I think, for you at an age approaching 30, it must have been quite a bit harder. You had already made the transition into an adult life. So, for you, there were more serious and difficult ties to break.

    Yes, I think that dropping religion did allow me to relax and enjoy life more. While church may have provided a form of relief, it was also a cause of tension. After dropping out, I no longer had to wonder how God would want me to act. I could trust my own judgment, without having to first invent some sort of theological justification.

  2. Truelaa says:

    Deep in the hart ,You all have the real feel of God but cannot find it.. You read bible but its make more conflict in the hart and your mind… So why not you pray and ask God to show the way to the thruth ( true ) of God and the real religion… or start with the religion that you afraid first… Islam.. or Read Quran and you will know…. ( sorry my English is bad )

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      Interesting thought, I think I will give the quron a shot. And read it some time.

      However. Don’t count on me converting to any type of abrahamic religion. I’very read to much about the historicity of the beginnings of the abrahamic religion for me to take it serious. But if you would like to suggest any nonabrahamic religion I’ll take look into it.

  3. Arkenaten says:

    I attend the occasional church service, but only for baptisms, and weddings and such. I usually spend the time admiring the architecture.
    I always tune-out, so the service and its banal, asinine message doesn’t wind me up.
    If anyone asks what church I belong to I tell them straight, but without rancor, I am an atheist. This usually ensures a slightly worried look from the person who has asked. You can see their mind doing a zillion mental calculations as to whether there should be a follow up question. They usually grin stupidly and walk off to chat to someone else. And then I try not to smile and avoid eye contact with my Missus!.

  4. unkleE says:

    Hi Marcus, happy birthday, congratulations on reaching 30, and all that.

    You know, I often feel a bit the same as you about church. I believe in Jesus and want to follow him, but a lot of church stuff seems to have little to do with that. I remember when we changed churches about 10 years back, and went from being there for long hours morning and evening on Sundays because we were running some things, to just going on a Saturday evening. Suddenly we had our Sundays back, and in summer we would go to the beach and say: This is what the non-christians do on Sundays!”, and smile.

  5. MichaelB says:

    I de-converted at age 39. It was indeed difficult. I have been going through a compressed and accelerated version of the rebellion, maturation and self-discovery I should have been experiencing in my teen years and early twenties. It has been tough on my kids and on my wife of twenty years.

    Good news is I have turned a few corners and things are looking up a little more each day. Other days I still wonder why oh why I didn’t take the blue pill…

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      So did ur wife deconvert as well? How old are you now? How old r ur children and do u think their age (being younger or older) affected, he de-conversion process. ?

      If u don’t mind me asking.

      • MichaelB says:

        I’m 41 now. My wife also deconverted several months after me but it was easier for her in that she had never fully swallowed the koolaid. My children are ages 10-16 and I don’t think that they had any affect on my deconversion, other than me wondering what they might think.

  6. “This church is much more charismatic then the church we go to.”

    I ran a lot of similar quote such this but dont have time to ask. My question is: Why the perception of churches is kinda “individual”. Why the comparison of Christian are based on churches? This church is good, that church is better, those church are excellent. Too much “we”, “them”, “they”, or “those group”.

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      Well every church, denomination, sect or religion has their own set of beliefs and they all have their own personality. This is very every evident in every group I have been around. Example the current church I no longer attend was much more family original oriented than any church I have been to. The majority of the families have three kids or more. Very few of them have less then three kids. Several had six-seven-eight kids.

      My old church in new jersey was very tradionalist. We always dressed up every Sunday. It was a baptist church with the old time preacher that hopped and hollered.

      Yes their are churches s I prefer. But really churches have distinct personalitys

    • I believe you not jump from denomination that totally different i.e Protestant to Catholic or Eastern Copt to Oriental Christian. I assume that you change within a same denomination i.e Traditional Lutheran to another modern Lutheran. (It just an example)

      What I look (or reads and observed) is the gap between churches in same group is too wide. The selection of churches is based on “what they can offer” even I think it OK to choose based on that. But, It just like selecting a “country club” membership. Which club have more members, largest driving range, or having swimming pool or gyms.

      Of course, my assumption are just based on what I read.

  7. Zoe Bloomer says:

    You asked: “I sometimes wonder how does someone who is 40 or 50 handle their de-conversion. Do they feel like they missed out on life? Do they get the feeling that they wasted their life? Cause I surely do feel that way sometimes. I sometimes feel, that all that energy I have used doing countless hours of ministry work and going to church and praying.”

    I was 48 when I simply could no longer call myself a Christian. Yes, I have dealt with that feeling of having “missed out on life.” “Wasted” . . . yes when it comes to energy and emotional output in ministry & other spiritual activities. I think it is to be expected that most who leave their belief-system will deal with these feelings and concerns. Faith wasn’t just a “church” thing for me. Energy and output were given to the cause every moment of every day, whether at church at home, in the community or at play. More than feeling like I wasted time, by the time I was done with it all I just felt wasted.

    I sometimes wonder who I would have been if not for the anxiety of hell. All those people going to hell and only a short time on the earth to go into the world and preach the gospel to get them saved. Exhausting eh? And we wonder why Jesus (supposedly) got in a boat and told the disciples to get it over the other side of the lake. God himself couldn’t even handle the pressure.

  8. Noel says:

    Rodriguez, although I am not an atheist, I hear myself talking when I read this post. I am 38, and stopped attending church about two and a half years ago. My wife and I have attempted to attend churches in the community, but have not actually committed to one yet. Our busy lives have not allowed it either. But I also feel that, when I used to go to church regularly, I missed a lot of life. At the same time, it gave me an opportunity to experience that lifestyle so that I can now look back and see how blind I was in many areas. I see myself now as a spiritual wonderer, reflecting and seeking as I go. However, I also strongly believe that instead of looking for God “up there” and in organized religious rituals, I should simply live God in simple things, such as playing with my children, serving the poor, listening to birds, going to the beach, etc. I sometimes wonder if I am actually living the life of an atheist. Question: does not wife still believe in God? If so, how do you both interact when it comes to church and God? Peace.

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      hi noel, didn’t see your comment at first..but let me respond now

      yes my wife still believes in god, and feels very strong about her faith. She does to church about 2-3 times a week. Reads her bible, Prays, speaks in tongues the whole nine yards.

      Really we try to avoid the conversation of God and religion for the most part. Because really whenever the conversation comes up it usually does not end well. However when the conversation of church comes up, that is usually safe ground for discussion, because the topics of God in theology are much more sensitive.

  9. I used to go to a church a while ago and grew up with that same church my whole life. I was a girl so I had to sit and be quiet. Women could only talk before and after services. As I grew older and more independent, I disagreed with the men get to rule over the church. I wished that women could participate equally. Even the thought of that in that church was sinful. Their ideals were strange to me when I thought outside the box when everyone else didn’t. They believed women couldn’t have short hair; men couldn’t have long hair, divorced people aren’t welcomed in their church, every other religion is considered “sinful” or “going to hell”, it’s shameful for a woman to preach in a church, musical instruments for worship in a church is a sin, visiting other churches is frowned upon, church hopping is frowned upon, etc. I grew tired of the same ol’ shallow minded beliefs. I left that church, but am always in search of a new church. Until then, I will keep praying and reading God’s word.

  10. Pingback: Turning 30 and a Half | The BitterSweet End

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