Updated: Jan 28
Many people who leave the IFB struggle to have a relationship with what they perceive as "God". Do they still believe in Him? Should they still believe in the version of Him that is taught in the IFB?
Children are taught:
God is the only true god.
God is a judgmental deity who demands complete obedience.
God is love as long as you obey Him.
God is willing to burn for eternity all of those who don't claim Him as their God and his son as their savior.
God will punish you if you don’t pray to Him every day, go to church when the doors are open, or don’t tithe the correct amount.
God speaks to your pastors, and they will tell you what is right and wrong.
God does not want you to be around anyone that isn’t in your church or who doesn’t believe as you do.
God hates gay people and there is no salvation for them.
God expects children as young as infants to obey their parents and to have their spirits “broken” as early as possible.
God will punish you severely if you use His name in vain.
The list goes on but if God is watching this…. wonder what He thinks of the IFB portrayal of Him?
So, how do you decide if you still want to believe or if you want to create your own version of Him? Even more scary is…what if you don’t want to believe in a Higher Power at all?
Creating a God You Can Believe In
It is not necessary to abandon your relationship with God. You can however based on what you believe and what you read create a God that honors who you want and need Him to be. If you believe that God is love…then He would accept all His creation. If you believe that God really doesn’t care what music you listen to or what movies you watch, then by default you would select what appeals to you and what is within your own determined morals. If it feels wrong hitting a small child or turning away from your family or friends if they believe differently, then don’t do it.
Oftentimes, people will reject calling Him “God” as it conjures up bad memories of having to pray to Him for forgiveness after being physically disciplined. Or having parents and church members use His name to justify their actions. Perhaps you change it to “my Higher Power” or “the Universe” or something else. It’s about training your mind and heart to create and interact with a deity of your choosing.
Life Without Believing in God
Say that to any IFB-er and you’ll see their eyes start to twitch and feel their Fire Insurance Policy from Hell burst into flames. So much of IFB is wrapped up in the absolute power of God and His righteous wrath and retaliation of those who don’t follow Him.
To see if living without God in your life is something you want, first you might want to consider researching other deities and religions. Read up on it or go to services. Talk to your friends about what they believe. I heard about a friend who decided that her religion was doing one good deed a day and if some higher power wanted to burn her in hell for actively trying to be a good person…so be it!
Finally, consider seeking out spirituality versus religion. Spirituality asks you to find your own way and discover what works for you rather than religion where who you are and how you live is dictated by interpretations of Holy Scriptures.
Note: When you first leave the IFB, you will be vulnerable to other cult religions as your brain is programmed to have someone else tell you what to do. Just beware. Also, you don’t want to go so far away from religion and begin to make bad decisions out of rebelling. Use your common sense and really take this opportunity to find yourself and then in turn, find your own version of God or spirituality.
IFB Overcomers is an online resource for those who have left Independent Fundamentalism and are looking to heal and discover themselves. With a podcast, webinars, forum, blog and resources, we hope to help retrain your heart and mind from the mindset of the IFB and help you not only survive but overcome and then thrive!