Christianity to Atheism Convert?

Ancient Greek graffiti of a guy persecuting his friend who believes in a crucified and risen Savior
Archaeologists found this Ancient Greek inscription on a wall (graffiti) of a guy persecuting his friend who believes in a crucified and risen Savior.

Dear Pastor Andy: Have you ever known anyone who converted FROM Christianity to atheism?

My Reply:
Unfortunately, I think you’ll find that a huge number of atheists either grew up in the church, or once recognized themselves as “Christian” of some form or another. However, I’m not sure if you could call it a “conversion”. Actually, as Christians, we call it something closer to “fell away” or “left the faith”.

The reality of such a tragedy though, among those I know anyway, is that either:

  1. They really did know Jesus at one time, and something (like college) caused them to question and unfriend Him
  2. They thought they were Christians at one time (got the fuzzy feeling, followed the “rules”, went to church, or whatever) but never really had that solid relationship with Jesus
  3. Something happened in their life that impacted them so greatly that they became angry towards God, which soon led them to hate Him and want nothing to do with Him. I suppose this isn’t exactly atheism because they still believe He exists, but maybe the anger and difficulty to understand or accept what happened leads them to fight against God and all who believe in or have a relationship with Him (like trying to convince consumers from shopping at a store that wronged you). Plus, the more time you push God away, or the less amount of time you spend with Him, the less you begin to believe in Him.
  4. They were tempted by and enjoyed the pleasures of life without God
  5. They left God to follow something that made more sense to them (as if we can fully understand God)

But you know, this is a good question. If anybody reading this now knows of somebody who claims that they were once a Christian (of some sort) and now consider themselves an atheist (or can claim such for themselves), what was the reason? What caused them (or you) to become an Atheist? (And don’t just say something like, “because God is imaginary” or because you realized that God doesn’t exist, share what brought you (them) to this conclusion).

—Pastor Andy G.


  1. Sadly, I have, and he was a Pastor. He experiences “life” and hard times, and his faith was build on a foundation of sand.

  2. 1 John 2:19–“These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us”. It makes you question if so-called “Christians” turned atheists were ever really believers in the first place. Or sadly, there are some cases where churches have the wrong foundation with bad leadership (Jeremiah 23:1–“‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord”).

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