My Religious Journey: From Christian to Atheist

Religion is a big part of who we are. It shapes how we behave and think. So, evolving from one religion to another or to none is a reflection of a personal change in us.

My journey from Christian to Atheist is a reflection of my personal evolution. And I want to share my story with you.

How I became a Christian?

When I was around 8 years old I went for the first time to a house reunion of the Baptist church at a friend’s house. There I was asked if I wanted to accept Jesus in my life. Without really understanding what that meant I said Yes.

After that, I started going to church with that friend every Sunday. I liked singing and learning about God, so I started becoming a true believer.

After some time, I converted my mom to Christianism and we started going to an evangelical church.

I truly enjoyed the positive environment (completely different from a catholic church!) and all the singing involved. It was a big church spread throughout the whole city.

The evangelical church I went to (and many others) preached the doctrine of money. According to this doctrine, the more you give to the church, the more God will bless you in your life. They also ask for the tithe.

At the time, I believed that and I asked my mom to give the money she couldn’t and was constantly upset for not being blessed. I thought something was wrong with me or my faith or that we should be giving more.

The contributions to the church were made publicly, and, sometimes, you had to go to the front of the church to give it, and so, if you stayed seated, everyone would know that you didn’t make any contribution. That compelled people to give contributions.

There was a time where contributions were made in the front of the church and me and my mom stayed seated and a minister gave us money to give to the church (so embarrassing!).

I went to that church for around 7 years.

In 2016, the church apostle did something that seemed unthinkable to me. He said that Donald Trump was a man of God. I couldn’t believe it.

Some friends of mine that went to other evangelical churches told me the same happened there.

I believed very dogmatically what the apostle and church ministers told me. But the mix of politics and religion didn’t seem correct.

My change to the Jehovah Witnesses

At the end of 2016, I received a poster by the Jehovah Witnesses and got curious about it and visited their website.

In my search, I found that the Jehovah Witnesses didn’t believe hell existed. I was stunned yet happy. Their reasoning made sense.

The fear of going to hell was a big one for me. Losing that fear made the Jehovah Witnesses seem attractive to me.

I decided to start studying with them. But, I continued going to an evangelical church (now a small one).

Learning with the Jehovah Witnesses was truly interesting and their explanations of the bible made much more sense to me (no tithe, no hell, anonymous contributions, no politics).

I had some questions that seemed unresolvable, but I always thought that God hadn’t given me an understanding of the matter yet.

I stopped going to evangelical churches altogether after a very unfortunate event. The pastor daughter invited me for a sleepover and I went. After I left she asked me if I took 2 blouses from her. I responded that I didn’t think so, but I’d check. And I did. Then I told her that I didn’t have her blouses. Afterwards, she accused me of stealing those blouses. I went to the church the next day to speak with her family. When I saw their posture towards me I thought that those people couldn’t be people from God.

Because of that mishap, I decided to give the Jehovah Witnesses a chance and started going to their reunions. I enjoyed their reunions and the people were really nice.

They also helped me a lot in a difficult and troubling time of my life.

At the end of 2017, I met my current boyfriend. He was (and still is) an atheist. I really enjoyed his company but I knew that it would be hypocritical of me to go to the Jehovah Witnesses reunions and date him at the same time.

So, I decided to leave the Jehovah Witnesses. But I didn’t stop believing in what they preached.

How I became an atheist

My boyfriend started talking with me about God and atheism, but I didn’t tolerate having those types of conversations. I thought they were heretic.

As a Christian I vigorously speaked about God and tried to convert other people. I couldn’t understand how some people didn’t believe in God.

But, my boyfriend continued talking about it and incongruences started surfacing in my mind. I started having plenty of questions that I couldn’t find an answer to and the ‘God didn’t gave me the understanding yet’ motto didn’t cut it anymore.

At the end of 2018, I started seeing myself as agnostic. I didn’t want to stop believing in God, but, at the same time, I was full of doubts.

Then, in the summer of 2019 I read a book that changed everything to me: The Psychology of the Crowd by Gustav Le Bon.

This book made me realize that I thought about God like the crowd: without any critical thinking. I was very dogmatic and I believed because I believed or because I felt God existed.

After finishing reading the book I understood that I had no good reason to believe God existed. And now, I’m an atheist.

It’s so weird to say this out loud, but I don’t believe in God anymore.

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Ana Rita

Ana Rita

Hello, I’m Ana Rita, a Portuguese law student. I write about topics that are interesting and important to me. Check out my blog: anaritalife.com