From Christianity in Northern Ireland to Deism

My name is Michael R. Morgan, I'm from Northern Ireland. I enjoy your Deism site and information on your Facebook and Twitter pages. I learned a lot since leaving evangelical Christianity after 24 years. Here is my story.

It was in the 1990's when I got interested in evangelical Christianity. I was an impressionable young man at 19 years old growing up in a single parent family in Northern Ireland. At that time it was prior to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, and the N. Ireland troubles were still a very real physical danger. Remember the sales pitch 'give me a good reason why you wouldn't be a Christian, for what if you died tonight?' I often thought of this during those troubled times here in N. Ireland. I was frightened, so I accepted it. After this I wanted to know everything about God to ease my deep insecurities. I studied the Bible and attended church up to many times a week. Even started to buy books on the Bible, different translations etc...

Even after that I wanted to preach the Bible. I became knowledgeable about the Bible. At times I couldn't settle on the true meanings of the Bible, so went to different churches as I felt there was something missing. Also at those times I began to ask questions. I remember being told I think too much and that I should rely on God's word rather than on human reason. I remember feeling guilty when I thought a thought that ran contrary to the churche's teachings. I was afraid of being called a heretic and that I could be trafficking with the devil. It's awful being indoctrinated like that. I wanted to be loved, accepted and to be devoted. I remember getting opportunities, and taking them, to preach. I must say I enjoyed it. But I had to keep certain opinions to myself. I remember thinking one day, surely if God wants to be worshipped it must be with a rational thinking mind. Surely that must be what God gave me brains for. Imagine how that went down in a charismatic church.

What caused me to leave evangelical Christianity since I considered it my spiritual home? I felt so much guilt and fear and went through mental and emotional abuses as a result of questioning. I remember being interrogated for four hours in a church room for questioning the doctrine of the Trinity!!!

I also wanted to hold a free and open Bible study upholding freedom of conscience and enquiry. I got in trouble for that. I remember one leader saying freedom of conscience is not in the Bible! I felt in my heart, don't bow down to this leader. He even classed me as a rebel. Looking back he was right.