Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Five Stages of Losing Faith

Over at Debunking Christianity, Harry McCall has reworked Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief into five stages of losing faith. It's got the same five stages as Kübler-Ross' (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), but his stages seem to start quite a bit before one actually goes through the actual loss. If Kübler-Ross' started this soon, you'd start dealing with grief before you had a reason to grieve, if that makes any sense.

So I made my own, based on my own experience of what it was like to go through the painful upheaval of realizing you've been wrong about life's most basic questions. Here it is:

  1. Denial - My faith is fine. These questions I have are just questions, but God is real. Smarter people than me have grappled with them and come out fine on the other side, so there must not be substance to them.
  2. Anger - What the hell is wrong with me! Why am I having such a hard time holding on to my Christianity? Stupid George Michael! Stupid! Get a grip!
  3. Bargaining - Please God! Don't let me go! If you're in any way concerned that I am slipping into deep water, tell me to come to you on the waves and I will! Are you there?
  4. Depression - Everything I've put my faith in for the last 20 years has turned out to be a fairy tale. Interesting and compelling, but a fairy tale.
  5. Acceptance - I can't honestly call myself a Christian anymore. Okay, what's next?
What do you think? If you've been through a similar experience, did it have quasi-identifiable stages like this?

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