One of the most annoying aspects of Christianity is how this religion feels a necessity to try to convert people. Not every religion does. For example, by and large Judaism and Hinduism are content to let their faith speak for itself.
So it's enjoyable when the tables are turned and a missionary finds himself deconverted by those who he sought to turn into Christians. Yesterday I learned about a You Tube video, "Christian missionary deconverted by tribe." (Thanks for the email, Clare.)
Around the seven minute mark, Daniel Everett speaks of how his evangelizing to a South American tribe ended up changing him.
It was becoming clear that the message I had staked my life and career on did not fit the PIrahas' culture. They didn't feel lost, so they didn't feel a need to be saved either. They are firmly committed to the pragmatic concept of utility.
Surprisingly, all this resonated with me. The Pirahas' rejection of the gospel caused me to question my own faith. There was so much about the Pirahas that I admired: their quality of inner life, their happiness, their contentment.
The Pirahas had built their culture around what is useful to their survival. My faith seemed a glaring irrelevancy in this culture. It was superstition to the Pirahas. And it began to seem more and more like superstition to me.
I began seriously to question the nature of faith, of believing in something unseen. Sometime in the lagte 1980s I came to admit to myself that I no longer believed in any article of faith, or in anything supernatural.
I was a closet atheist.
Take a look. It's an interesting ten minutes, well worth your time.