Share, or Be Ashamed

Seen in my Facebook newsfeed:

I accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior.

He said, “Deny me in front of your friends, and I will deny you in front of my father.”

Challenge accepted! If you are not ashamed, copy and paste.

You’ll see variations of this in non-religious social memes, too. Notice how you’re given two choices: share, or you’re announcing that you’re ashamed of (some version of) the Jesus character. We see this elsewhere on Facebook, too: share, or you don’t have sympathy with people who have such-and-such disease. Or… Maybe I just don’t believe that sharing a pre-scripted status is the best way to show my support for people with a disease. And maybe I don’t want to tell stories about Jesus or his father. Maybe I don’t think that’s the best way to make this world a better place in which to live.

The difference here is that, in my life, the Jesus meme was not limited to social media. We were doing “deny me before men, and I will deny you before my father in heaven” long before the Internet was even a thing. Not believing in the story was never an option. That it might be a bad story to tell was never a possibility.

Indeed, if I were to trace my deconversion to one pivotal moment, it would probably be the moment in which I realized that I didn’t have to be an Evangelical if I didn’t want to. Seeing other Evangelicals “leaving the fold” (as we said) completely changed my perspective. It punched a hole in my fundie bubble, and the bubble collapsed. And the whole world then lay before me, a world of infinite possibilities. I’m still exploring them, but already I’ve found a life that is infinitely happier, more satisfied, more joyful, more full of love, more stable, more fulfilling.