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So you're thinking about leaving...

Leaving BCC or any life engulfing organization is a difficult and delicate process. Chances are that most of your family, friends, and connections are in the church. 

This page will act as sort of a Q and A space, as we'll add more information in response to each question we receive. We'll start with some basic information that helped us while we made our own transitions out of BCC.

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More topics coming soon; Suggest topics to us directly via the contact box below.

Initial Depression After Leaving

The first and most crucial step when leaving BCC is understanding that you're not a bad person for doing so. You don't deserve any negative consequence or treatment for changing your belief system; if anyone says something negative to you then you must stand up for yourself. 

You deserve happiness. Though church members may write you off as 'entering into misery and despair', that is not true. Compute that you will be happier and the current moment of change is difficult, but it will get better.

Often times those who leave the church return to it only after a few months in the real world. They explain in their testimonies how depressed they were while away, how little the world has to offer, and so on. These testimonies may be true, but that's only due to a lack of guidance.

Of course, you'll be depressed after you leave the church. If you arent, then you probably haven't actually been in the church for a while.

BCC separates you from social groups outside the walls of the church from birth. Your social circle was entirely made up of church members, and now that circle is being erased. Depression and anxiety are to be expected. That said, they can be overcome. 

During your time in the church, your individual interests were suppressed. You did whatever the church needed you to, even if you didn't particularly enjoy it. "Hate soccer? Don't care, you have to play in order to be along." In the days after leaving BCC attempt to identify the hobbies and activities which truly make you happy, not what makes others blissful.

One of the first realizations after leaving is: wow I only have a few friends. With your hobbies and activities identified, try to find another social group to join. Humans are social animals, we need to be in social circles to be happy. 

Even small gestures help when joining social groups. The process will take some time, but sooner or later you'll find friends with similar hobbies or goals. If you enjoy art and pottery, find a local pottery club. If you love soccer, find a local league and join a team. Put yourself out there. 

Personally, I found that the easiest groups to join are those who don't know about BCC at all. High school acquaintances are great, but in my experience, I couldn't handle being seen as 'the church kid', as it doesn't really go away.

In between finding friends, keep yourself busy. The old saying of "every day find a boulder and push it" holds true. With everything around you changing so suddenly it's easy to become dejected if you're stagnant. Make a fitness goal, start a project, go for a walk, begin a new chapter in your life. 

Give the process some time. Happiness is around the corner, you just have to keep your head up and keep working. You can reach out to us at any time. We'd love to hear from you, and we hope you understand that we're always here for you to lean on.

-Seek professional medical help if you feel that you may be a treat to yourself. You deserve to love yourself-

The Vacuum Of A Belief System

The church provides its members with a concrete way to live life. There's no need to ponder the meaning of life because the leaders and the Bible hold all the secrets to it. When one leaves the organization, oftentimes they find themselves wondering what to believe. 

Going from having your actions ultra structured, down to "Is this a sin or not" to being able to do whatever you'd like sounds amazing. Although you could just enter the world throw away any moral constraint you previously had, this is not advised. 

Living without a belief system can become dangerous for many. It may work for some people, but living without meaning can quickly lead to a bottomless pit of lacking identity and meaning. 

 

Over the years we've witnessed most ex-members jumping from one to the other side of the religious spectrum. Going from ultra-Christian to hardcore Athiest. Most who have left BCC probably do describe themselves as an Athiest, actually. 

Most ex-members are, in fact, not Atheists by definition. After their time in BCC, they find it easier and more stable to cut religion out of their lives entirely. They want nothing to do with 'God'. This resentment of religion must be let go. We've experienced radicalized faith for our entire lives, but this is not a representation of all belief systems. 

The biggest fallacy surrounding world views is that they must be perfect. People love to find holes in others' beliefs. It's commonly accepted that if a given doctrine doesn't function in every single ultra-specific scenario that it should be abandoned. Simply put, this is ridiculous. 

Find something that works for you. Chances are that you'll never be in any of these particular situations. Try and keep it simple, like "the universe always corrects itself". Something as short and mild as that can be dissected and blown up into an entire belief system. 

This is all our advice, of course. If Atheism works for you, then go for it. Our only ask is that you realize all religions aren't crazy, useless, and deserving of an instant dismiss. 

 


 

The Act of Leaving

Many times when leaving BCC, former members find themselves in a difficult or awkward spot with current members. Where once there were free-flowing conversations and comfort, now there may be conflict and resentment. 

There are many dynamics to these relationships with those in the church, and the most complicated revolves around family. Most who leave, do so between the ages of 17-19 so they still live with their parents and depend on them for food, transportation, and monetary funds. 

This fact alone causes many late teens to remain 'in the church' just for the sake of avoiding conflict with those they love and depend on. At that age, being physically in the church, but absent from all its dogma creates a sort of cage effect. You want to leave so badly, but it just makes sense to stay. 

You go to the gatherings but know you don't believe any of it. Having to lie to those around you; almost feels like you're living a double life. The feeling that there's no other option can eat you, as it did me. The most important thing to know when in this situation is: These feelings won't last forever. 

Leaving any life-engulfing organization is a difficult, yet delicate thing. Very few can completely drop off the church's radar all at once and go one with life just as easily as before! Thinking ahead is crucial. Start thinking critically about what you want from life. Where do you want to be in 50 years? How do you want to spend your 20s? Do you really believe in everything the church preaches? Before leaving, it is paramount that you've made up your mind with all diligence.

If you genuinely think the church is the place to remain, then stay by all means. Otherwise, it's time to think ahead. 

There can be a lot of anger towards the church built up by the time you decide to leave. Although it may be founded, the time to express is it is not present. Go about leaving subtly and intelligently. If anyone tries to stop you then you must insist on your life choice. No one can force you to attend anything at the church, or even make you feel guilty.

A common approach BCC leaders will take is to guilt-trip you using your younger siblings or friends. Their goal is to make you feel like a bad person for leaving. Understand that this isn't true. you'll still be a great, probably better actually, sibling. 

No one has the right to take away your decision on what religion to follow. Happiness is paramount.

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