Deconversion stories from The Skeptical Review

Allen Nielsen

Thanks from Another Ex-Preacher...

I would like to thank you and your publication for doing what Jesus couldn't do, namely, setting the captive free. I am a 26-year-old former ministerial student. I attended Trinity Bible College, of the Assemblies of God denomination, in North Dakota and interned as a youth pastor in Iowa, but I eventually left the Pentecostal ministry because of honest, painful doubt. My main goal in life was to kill off my own personality (natural emotions, thoughts, etc.) and try to be just like Jesus in obedience to "he must increase, I must decrease." I became addicted to this Jesus inspired moral masochism. This created in me a strong persecution/martyr complex, caused by the desire to be just like Jesus and the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. Needless to say, after years of painful doubt and self-hatred, I realized enough is enough. This doesn't feel right. It no longer had the "ring of truth." Your publication confirmed my doubts and placed me on a new path of emotional recovery.

Thank you, Farrell. If you know any former Christians who are interested in corresponding with other former Christians, through letter writing, will you please give them my address?

(Allen Nielsen, 290 SW Court Street, Apt. 1, Dallas, OR 97338)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Needless to say, I am always happy to receive letters like this. I can understand the emotional turmoil that Mr. Nielsen has been through, and I wish him success in adapting to a way of life that puts reason and reality above blind faith and wishful thinking. I know from my own experience that the decision he made was not an easy one, but I also know that his life will be a more satisfying one without the crutches that he was previously leaning on.

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