Gungor. If I’ve ever wanted to meet a famous person, it’s now.

comments 2
leaving Christianity / the godless side

Silver showed me a blog that Michael Gungor (a lead singer in a well-known Christian band) posted.  You can find it here. Paraphrased, he talks about belief, his changes in belief, and asks for empathy and love in the process of no longer being a fundamentalist Christian.

I felt like his words were dictated from within me.  My eyes filled with tears as I read them.

I am not alone?!?

Of course I knew that.  But I rarely feel that.  There’s no longer a God in the back of my mind upon whom I can lean, who can hold me, who whispers to me in times of loneliness.  There are no longer people surrounding us that share our beliefs.  So for someone so center stage within the blinding spotlight of Christian fundamentalism to “come out of the closet” revealing his true self gave me incredible courage– camaraderie even.

No longer did I feel like my coming out to my family was a mistake.  No longer did I feel like I got the short end of the stick in everything.  There’s someone else out there experiencing this too??

It’s amazing what a feeling of community can do for a person.  Even as a believer, I’ve always believed in the power of community, and I’ve always greatly valued authenticity.  Those values have remained solid to me despite my ever-changing everything else (worldview, faith, occupation, community, living situation,.. etc.).

So thank you, Gungor, for reinforcing my sense of community.  For reinforcing my value of authenticity.  For giving me one more reason to prefer your Pandora station.  And for reminding me that I’m not alone.

Michael Gungor and his wife. Photo Credit: SImone Rubi from http://gungormusic.com/media

Michael Gungor and his wife. Photo Credit: SImone Rubi from http://gungormusic.com/media

You can find a recent interview with him here.

His blog is here.

And his general website is here

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The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.

2 Comments

  1. Andy says

    Love your blog, Teal. I came here by way of the Gungor interview on BioLogos. I went through a similar drop in the Christian persona. It’s very freeing, isn’t it? It’s better to have no God than a God of guilt.

    My way came by way of Bishop John Shelby Spong and Bishop A.T. Robinson (who are, in my mind, Christian Atheists). They believe in the ritual and community, but do not believe in a theistic God “out there.” Spong, if nothing else, is an excellent condenser of information. So I recommend him. Especially “Sins of Scripture” and “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism.” Another author that I gleaned a lot of meaning from, was Theologian/Philosopher Paul Tillich. Tillich was a brilliant brilliant man who said that theologians must take the claims of secular philosophy seriously. Especially Atheism. And so, in a sense, he was also a Christian Atheist. Besides his Systematic Theology, his most seminal work was “The Courage to Be.” Which I highly recommend. It’s a great philosophical treatise on what it takes to continue on in existence when meaninglessness (if one takes atheism seriously) is overwhelming. It might be a little tough to get through the beginning because of the sentence structure and unfamiliar terms (he was German by birth and emmigrated to the U.S. when he was kicked out during WWII), but highly worth it in the end.

    However, if meaninglessness is not an issue, then I wouldn’t bother with Tillich. Meaninglessness was a big issue for me, and since I took the journey by myself, I did not have a significant other to talk to about it. So you are at a distinct advantage. You are fortunate to have a companion to be able to talk with.

    I only recommend these Christian Atheists for a couple reasons. First, I can tell that you miss the communal aspect of Religion, and that you long for meaningful communion with your friends and family, and so I thought these would help (I like to feel helpful and useful whenever I can), and second, I honestly don’t keep up with the current atheist blogosphere/podcasts/books, so I can’t really offer you any help from that perspective. Folks can believe whatever they believe and it really doesn’t matter to me.

    You said in one of your posts that you used to be discipled too easily. I am one that has never discipled too easily. I’ve always been somewhat of a doubter. Even when I was a fundamentalist, I was like your husband and found the “opposing” side fascinating. I always found myself playing devil’s advocate with my friends without really meaning to.

    Anyway, I hope you found a little bit of this helpful. If not, then that’s cool too. I wish you all the best in your journey towards truth.

    Andy

    Like

    • Thank you so much for all your advice and helpful recommendations — I am definitely in need of them. I’m sorry this took me awhile to respond too — we’ve been away with my parents and it’s been a tough week.

      Meaninglessness is TOTALLY a problem for me. I have no mission or calling to fulfill.. it’s very easy for me to feel like there is no greater purpose in life. Sometimes I feel like I’m just treading water. I fear the coming winter..

      I am entirely grateful that my husband is with me in this, even though he as always found more freedom and joy in his unbelief than I have. I can’t imagine enduring this journey away from faith alone. How did you do it?? I would love to hear about what your journey has been like. What brought you out of fundamentalist Christianity?

      Again, thank you so much for this.

      Like

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