The internet is saturated with essays that tell you how to be a good Christian. They litter the walls of Facebook, the timelines of Twitter and the rolls of various blogs. For some reason I can’t figure out, I’ve never been a fan of how-to essays or books; it is an extension of my dislike for motivational books.
Today, after much contemplation, I have decided to write one of those essays I dislike and help my friends who want a way out of Christianity. Some of them don’t even know they seek a way out, but by the time they’re done with this essay they will have a road map for their journey into the world.
I’ve omitted what Christians consider as sins because we all know they are supposed to be bad. The fact that you can ask for forgiveness from sins also makes sinning a questionable way to backslide. The things I’m going to state here are subtle methods that deliver great results.
Believe you can never backslide
The trip to backsliding is best started with this paradoxical mindset: you have to believe in your inability to backslide no matter what you do. Tell yourself every morning that even if you spend the day in the laps of a commercial sex worker, talking on the phone with a friend of yours about how to defraud your employer and sending a text message to your girlfriend saying you stayed back in church for an important meeting, you are immune from backsliding. This frees your mind to engage in the lesser evils I’m going to state in the rest of the essay and inoculates you against the fear of perdition that drives many people to their churches, crying for forgiveness.
Stay away from your Christian friends
There is a reason Paul (or whoever wrote the book of Hebrew) told you to stay with the brethren. It is a ploy to keep you locked up in the fold. Find a reason—any reason, any good reason—to stay away from church or any other fellowship of Christians. In fact, the more genuine your reason is for staying away, the greater your chances of backsliding. Take offence at the hypocrisy of church goers, the kleptomania of minsters of the gospel or the refusal of modern Christianity to stick to biblical models of worship. Hold on to these things and defend them vehemently when your friends ask for your reasons for staying away. After a while, they will leave you to your devices and you will be a step closer to your goal. You should also go online and make yourself a few smart, agnostic friends—they abound on Twitter.
Listen to the right kind of music
Music is very important because it offers a backdoor into the soul. When I say the right kind of music, I mean those rhythm-heavy, substance-deprived songs they play on the radio and television these days. You don’t want to be the person that wakes up in the morning with a heavy heart and the lyrics of My Soul in Sad Exile playing in his head. No, that shouldn’t happen. Those hymns have a way of pulverizing the mind’s defences and you don’t want that to happen (Hillsong chants fall in this category too, stay away from them). I know some of you think most of what we call contemporary music is trash, and I understand what you mean. I advise you to stick to jazz, old school blues, country music or even conscious rap. But beware; good music has a way of reducing your chances of backsliding, even when the singer is not a Christian. Let go of yourself for a moment, bob your head and shake your body to that beat; it is good for you and your backsliding mission.
Maltreat your Bible
There are two ways to deal with the bible if you intend to accelerate this trip. You can stay away from it completely, delete the app from your phone, stick the paper-backs in a forgettable part of your closet, unfriend those people that litter your wall on Facebook with daily verses etc. This method of ignoring the bible is for the faint-hearted and not as effective as scouring the pages of the scriptures for errors and deficiencies. Study the bible from back to back with an intent to disprove its claims; for a book that alludes to Immaculate Conception, fire falling from the sky and a world created in a week, that shouldn’t be a difficult task. Remember, a lot of the Christian faith is based on an unflinching belief in the Bible, so tackle that belief till it dies and you are closer to apostasy than you can ever imagine.
Whatever happens, do not pray
This is the most important part of this essay. There are many Christian disciplines that are supposed to make men closer to God (whatever that means) but none of them is as potent as the act of baring your soul to a being you cannot see with the hope that he can hear you and will respond to whatever you reveal to him. My friend, you should never do this. Never pray, never permit people to pray with you, mock the people that pray and ensure the only time you use the word prayer is when you fill arcane government documents. Let me reiterate this, prayer is anathema to your goal; it has the ability to destroy every effort you put into backsliding. Do not pray.
Be faithful to the things I’ve listed and you’ll be an alien to Christians before they can say Amen. You can thank me later.