When I first started to go through this crisis of faith, suddenly finding myself not believing in the existence of God, the one person I told was a family member who had been through the same thing before me and is now an atheist. She was kind, understanding and listened. But I knew she would be (that is why I told her!). Firstly she is naturally kind and thoughtful. Secondly she has become an atheist so knows what it is like. However, I have been fearful of telling Christians. I guess I thought I would be rejected.
Actually, I have been really encouraged by the reaction of the Christian people I know as I share my crisis of faith with them. They have been kind, encouraging, understanding and loving. At the same time I am saddened to read on others' blogs, and on Ex-Christian.net that my story is not the same for everyone. Their stories are ones of total rejection by friends and family members, being ostracised by their previous church communities and being treated like social lepars by Christian communities. How can people who profess to know the love of God in Jesus treat others with such harsh judgement? Do they think that their rejection and harsh treatment will 'bring them back to God'? I suspect it is more likely to confirm their atheism than make them rethink it!
I am really grateful to the kind reaction of those Christians I have told. I told the pastor of a church I sometimes go along to last Sunday and there was no rejection. In fact he said he also had had a crisis of faith, and had come out of it stronger in faith than before. He is obviously hoping I will have the same experience but he was kind and loving to me.
I told another person at the church of that pastor talked about in the last paragraph. She has been love and kindness itself. No judgement. No harsh words. Just love and acceptance. And she doesn't really know me. I have only met them a few times but already am loved and welcomed despite my disbelief in God at the moment.
I told a Christian friend today via email who I have known for about 15 years - we were in the same house group. I actually told her about my blog (not told many Christians about it). She read the blog and then sent me such a gentle, thoughtful and loving email, it brought tears to my eyes! This lady has always been one of those people who shines with the love of Jesus.
How I wish there were more Christians like these wonderful people. I wanted to mention them here so people don't think all Christians are harsh and judgemental when they come across someone who is leaving the Christian faith or who is having major doubts about it.
There are Christians who are judgemental and reject those who leave the faith. But is it sensible to reject God and Jesus because some narrow minded people are acting so wrongly? Is that not like throwing the baby out with the bath water?