IN TWO MINDS:                 

The Anatomy of a Christian Hate Letter                             

 Letter Five:                                  

Webmaster's note: This is a series that should be read in sequence to be understood. It is strongly suggested that you begin with the introduction first!

this letter was written by Brian Worley 

Dear Valerie, 

About a year ago, we moved into the home in which we now live in. When you're new to an area, making new friends is desirable. I was curious if one of the guys helping us unload boxes might be a potential friend. Soon after settling in, I invited him over for coffee.  The conversation started from scratch and before too long he began to speak of his church where he ministered. I patiently listened and didn't interrupt as he finished expressing his thoughts. He invited my wife and I to come to his church. He had no idea about my background, or Ex-minister. All the time I was thinking, how will I gently introduce Ex-minister's ideas to him; decline his invitation; and yet express genuine desire to explore possibly becoming friends?  

I started by showing him my degree and ordination certificates on my wall. He showed enthusiasm thinking that I was a Christian. I was just hoping that he wouldn't call me brother at this point! So I briefly discussed Ex-minister for about 3 minutes and quickly changed the subject to baseball. When discussing serious matters, I firmly believe that it is best to first secure the other persons permission first before proceeding to a potential emotionally charged subject. I was "on the spot" here and couldn't do this with him. It isn't wise to dump something abruptly onto another person. In that 3 minutes, I had asked him to look at the website and said we could talk about it later, if he wanted to?  

It turned out that he didn't want to talk about it. In reality all he wanted was another tithing church member. Someone told me that he had said some negative things about myself and Ex-minister to others. Since then he has kept his distance from me.  

I genuinely desire to have good relationships with good people, regardless of their faith. Soon after other Christians discovered that I had left the faith, most of those same people started to treat me in ways that I had never expected. First I was stunned, soon afterwards I found myself irritated with these same people that were cold or rude. I made some "personal transaction" mistakes in my dealings with those same Christians when trying to defend my new views.

 It isn't easy to tell the world that you are wrong about something, I have my own pride! But in my irritation I found myself trying to provoke or bait those same Christians into arguments. Inside my own ego, I knew that I could easily win those debates. I always "won the battle, but lost the war" in the process. This is an easy trap to fall into and I hope that our readers will be wiser than I was upon leaving the faith, and not repeat the same  mistakes that I made. I think that it is difficult to succeed in life unless you first take responsibility for your actions. So, here is my confession! 

Once you have made a mistake with a person, the road back isn't easily traveled. Who wants to step into the boxing ring with the undefeated heavyweight champion, especially if you are a lightweight? I'm learning to check my motives before I talk with people. Do I want to win a debate? Embarrass someone? Be careful in what you wish for!  

Perhaps, it is possible that I feel some responsibility for bringing others into the trap that robs people of their lives? Maybe, I do what I do now as a way to right the wrongs from my earlier days. But I sense that the reason that I do what I do at Ex-minister is because I feel that there are many good people that have been lied to about the Christian myth. I think that when faith divides people, it is toxic and needs to be done away with. Maybe I'm trying to justify spending all that money on my degree? (LOL) 

Am I saying that if someone's faith is working for them and others without showing toxic results, should skeptics then just avoid the religious subject altogether?  Yes, this is what I have found that seems to work the best. The way that I see it is that there should come a time when this person, whom you wish to reach, will have sincere doubt about their faith worldview. When a person's worldview repeatedly fails to answer individual, societal, and global problems a person gradually looses faith in that worldview.  At this point, viewpoints similar to that which Ex-minister espouses are ready to be explored by people with a receptive mindset. This is where we need to be ready to step up! Remember that a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. 

Valerie, my families faith doesn't work! Can you share some insight on how that I might have done some things differently with my friends and family when I sent them this initial email that is posted below? 

Hello everyone, 

Just a very quick note. Most of you know of my website www.exminister.org. I have posted an article from the site at www.exchristian.net and people have an opportunity to comment on it there at this website. The article is named "God of the Bible is a Sheep Beater". Those of you in NC will probably recognize and know of whom I am speaking about. Was I fair to them? Anyway, I must go....my daughter needs some attention!

Sincerely,

Brian 

Valerie, I am enjoying these letters with you and will look forward to your reply. 

Sincerely,

Brian  

Want to review another letter in this series? Just click the link below. 

Introduction Letter   Letter 1  Letter 2  Letter 3 Letter 4 Letter 6

Brian Worley   Ex-Minister.org     January 2008    All rights reserved

 



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