Saturday, August 21, 2010

Moving beyond ex-Christianity

A Christian friend of mine asked me recently how my faith struggle was going. The question took me a little off guard because it's been a while since I've thought of myself as being in some sort of struggle. As I thought of an answer, I realised that I no longer think about 'ex-Christianity' as often as I used to; I've spent much less time thinking about religion in general.

This, I think, is a good sign.

It is a sign of the fact that during the last year or so, I've finally reached a place of peace and stability in a new worldview, realising that a person can indeed live a moral, philosophical, and fulfilling life without belief in the supernatural. The metaphysical storm that engulfed me since I lost my faith has now all but gone.

As a result, the entire theme of my blog is becoming more out of sink with my current thinking. The issue, you see, is that the title of my blog is all about what I am not, rather than what I currently am. When I was in a place of struggle, labels of 'atheist' or 'ex-Christian' suited me fine because at the time I did not know anything except that which I had left behind.

I am an atheist, yes; but I am more than that. I've started thinking about my values; exploring what I do believe, rather than what I disbelieve; discovering what I stand for, rather than defining myself by that which I disagree with. In other words, I no longer care that much for the label of 'ex-Christian';
I'm ready let this go.

What does this mean for my blog? I don’t really know, to be honest. I suspect that I will still think and write about religion, although not as often as I used to. After all, I still live in a predominantly religious culture, so the next leg of my journey will involve trying to find an answer to the following question: how can I live out my values as honestly as I can, but still live in harmony with others who might not share the same values as I do (as a result of their religious upbringing)?

Letting go of ex-Christianity sounds strange, I know. But it makes perfect sense when you think about it. When I was a Christian, it was a big deal that God existed. When I became an atheist, it was a big deal that God didn't exist. Now, I'm entering a new stage of my life where God doesn't matter.

Maybe this is what it means to become truly secular.