For me, leaving Christianity was a bit like crossing a creek. I couldn’t do it in one big leap… I needed stepping stones and a little time to get across.
Ironically, one of my many stepping stones toward unbelief was a group called Christians For Biblical Equality.
I don’t know a whole lot about CBE in their present state. I’ve not been involved with them for about 2 decades now. But in a nutshell, back then it was a group of scholarly types who wrote endless papers explaining all the reasons women really ARE equal to men in the sight of God, in spite of what scripture actually says.
At the time, CBE and its many resources became a lifeline for me. My personal study of scripture and the sexism I observed in the bible, the church and in ministry proved a constant source of pain. It only grew worse as I connected the dots that god himself was behind it all: A logical conclusion, but one that cut like a knife.
I was idealistic, naive, and trusting. I bled a lot.
So it was that nagging ache over gender inequality in the body of Christ that lead me straight to CBE’s door looking for answers. However, in spite of their best efforts and their boundless resources, the ache persisted. After a few years standing on that particular stone, I took another little hop over to the next one: Accepting that some portions of scripture were simply wrong.
Yep. There goes the word, “inerrancy”. I had to turn that loose.
What many “Biblical Inerrancy” believing Christians don’t stop to think about is this: It only takes ONE error to take the word, “inerrancy” off the table. Just one. And yet, there are many starting in the very first chapter of the very first book of the bible as this young YouTuber, The Cosmic Skeptic (Alex O’Connor) so brilliantly explains:
Once I realized that the bible contained errors about the little things, I took another leap to the next stepping stone which turned out to be this simple realization:
If the bible could be wrong about little mathematical or geographical details, then it might contain errors about the BIG spiritual or eternal deal-makers, too.
And so it goes… from one stone to the next until I realized I could no longer call myself a believer.
This whole thing is a woeful oversimplification that any exChristian will tell you. The journey across the creek is a dreadful, treacherous one fraught with fear, doubt, and pain. And for most of us, the journey out can take years! But like any journey worth taking, there are joys to be experienced and freedoms to be explored.
Are you and exChristian? I’d love to know: What were your stepping stones?