i picked up Scot McKnight's "Finding Faith Losing Faith". This book was a study on 'conversion'. It explored a limited number of conversion experiences: Conversion from Christianity to secularism, from Judaism to Messianic Judaism, Catholicism to Evangelicalism, and Evangelicalism to Catholicism.
It was only the first one that intrigued me. There were a few reasons why people convert from Christianity to secularism, and most have to do with a need to experience intellectual freedom. Christianity does not genuinely allow a person to question the faith or its doctrines. Those who have genuine concerns and questions often find themselves having to hide their doubts and uncertainties. i can certainly attest to this.
Those leaving the faith often feel an incredible sense of relief. There is a sense of freedom and authenticity. One's intellectual curiosity is allowed to seek answers to the questions it wonders about.
Here is an insight i found interesting:
"Conversions to the Christan faith are nearly always shaped by what one is gaining-forgiveness, heaven, moral transformation, meaning, peace, a new community, or joy. Conversions from the Christan faith are nearly always shaped by what one is leaving instead of what one is gaining."
i definitely resonate with all of the reasons why people leave the faith. Yet i also realize that it is not the "faith" that suppresses question, but the insecurities of others 'in the faith'. i believe wrestling with the questions will bring us into a much deeper understanding of genuine faith and reshape unhealthy ideas and false conclusions. Feeling as though one is not allowed to enter into honest questioning will certainly drive an honest person away from belief.
The irony in all of this, is that those self-proclaimed protectors of the faith, are often unwittingly undermining the faith of sincere believers.