• The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism – Regarding Christian Deconversion

 The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism – Regarding Christian Deconversion

I have been thinking about doing a post – or series of posts – about deconversion from Christianity.

I do not identify as an atheist, but am somewhere between being a Christian and being agnostic (or possibly a deist).

I see Christians routinely mishandle how they discuss or talk to people who have left the Christian faith (or who may be considering leaving it).

One of the most common – and annoying and disrespectful – approaches they use when talking to or about someone who has left the faith is to say the person was never a “real” Christian to begin with.

This may or may not be accompanied by the No True Scotsman Fallacy, where an ex-Christian or a doubter may point to all the hypocrisy or abuse committed by self-professing believers, and the Christian will retort by saying “thus and so was not a “real” Christian,” or, “so and so who is now an atheist was never a ‘real’ Christian'”

Here is a blog post, hosted on an atheist or agnostic blog, about this (there are maybe one or two points in this essay I am not in complete agreement with, but most of this is spot on):

The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism

Snippets:

by Captain Cassidy

…Everyone, Meet the Scotsman. He’s Very True.

The No True Scotsman is a logical fallacy. Technically, it’s an ad hoc reinterpretation of a situation to prevent contradictions and refutations of one’s position. As that link reveals, it’s also a circular argument.

Christians adore it. Within their own culture, it’s a devastating way to quickly negate a fellow Christian. They also use it to dismiss and invalidate ex-Christians.

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• The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

This editorial summarizes many of the issues I have with Christianity. There are several factors that have been driving me from a conservative Christianity I was raised in all my life towards agnosticism, or maybe deism.

I haven’t completely rejected the Christian faith at this stage of life, but I’m finding it more and more difficult to stay, seeing how so many Christians do things like excuse, turn a blind eye to, or support child molesters, wife abusers, or support sexism (but they swear that they don’t; it’s just “biblical” to bar women from certain positions, due to their biological sex alone).

I’m a conservative, but I did not support politician Roy Moore and was thoroughly put off and disturbed to see other conservatives who were supporting the guy – he, as an adult, was hitting on teen-aged girls, which is not acceptable or moral.

The following editorial’s reason- for- being was that conservatives and Christians were supporting a known child predator (Moore) who was running for political office, but its points, or raison d’etre, are exploring the broader problems in regards to conservative evangelicalism and other forms of American Christianity.

Emphasis added to this by me:

The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

by David French

The desire for certainty in an uncertain world yields terrible results.

…This second temptation is pernicious. Theologically, it fundamentally denies a very uncomfortable scriptural truth: that this side of heaven we can’t eliminate uncertainty or temptation. We “see through a glass darkly.” We simply don’t have all the answers — for raising children, for sustaining a successful marriage, for thriving in our careers, or for responding to sickness and adversity.

The scriptural response to this fundamental uncertainty is unsatisfying to some. Faith, hope, and love are vague concepts.

The Bible doesn’t have a clear, specific prescription for every life challenge. But rather than seeking God prayerfully and with deep humility and reverence, we want answers, now. And thus we gravitate to those people who purport to offer more than the Bible.

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