9/14/02                                                                                       View Comments

Back to godlessness

by Balaji
Singapore

There was no reason for me to carry on being Christian, especially since it did not make sense.

Good Friday 2000, I attended a service at Hope of God Singapore Church, invited by a friend. Till then I was a Hindu/Freethinker/Agnostic/Whathaveyou unconcerned about the existence of god. I always thought he existed but as some distant spirit like thingy. I liked the service and the Xian idea that god is a loving father, and the thought of him having to suffer and die for my sins was definitely a kind of emotional thing for me. I converted on the spot and began attending service.

However I was a student of evolutionary biology (now I am doing my honours and an MBA) and I realised that evolution makes more sense than genesis, but I reconciled saying that well, genesis is probably just an allegory to show man's sinful nature and god directs evolution. However the church insisted on total adherence to every word of the bible, (note: I won't capitalise church or god or bible or scary sky spirits) and this led me to actually try to find points of reconciliation between what I know as true (earth is over 4 billion years old, apes are our "cousins" and the Big Bang happened) with what the church taught.

The real turning point occurred when I read the Tower of Babel and then on to Leviticus and Deutoronomy. Gosh, the brutality of the god I was worshipping scared me. This, along with my earlier conflicts made me question god's existence and I asked myself questions like "Why does god have to exist? Why did I think that there exists such a being in the first place"? Well I couldn't give a rationally satisfactory answer to that. Then it was but a matter of time before I secretly renounced Christianity, but the fear of backlash from church members led me to keep it secret. I was baptised as Matthew Balaji and even the pastor prophesied that I would be a great minister to men.. Gosh, has he been proven wrong. this false prophesying confirmed my belief. How come no one saw that they were baptising someone who doesn't believe in Jesus? Anyway I lied to my church that I was going to another church because of trying to reach out to my parents. It took a lot of painful lying but the end in this case, justified the means.

What labels did I use to describe myself?
Fundamentalist Evangelical Charismatic

What labels do I use now?
Atheist

Why did I join in the first place?
I never thought of atheism as an answer to my questions about god. I liked the Xian concept of "loving poppa" I joined when I was 21 and left when I was 22.

9/8/02                                                                                       View Comments

Leaving Christianity Behind

by Brad

It all started with my aunty, a strong Christian. She gave me a bible, and I read it. Exactly, to the day, one year later, my oldest brother came to visit and he converted me while we were canoeing, him and his wife, and I said the prayer of faith. At the time my parents would occasionally drag me and my brother out to a Lutheran church and to be confirmed, but none of us wanted to be there, it was a grave yard, not a church.

I very quickly became an outgoing evangelist, to all of my friends at school, everywhere. When I went to university, I was even more outgoing, just plain annoying already. I made strong Christian friends, I joined Christian groups, I found a Lutheran church, and I did it all. After that year, I returned home, that’s when I began studying the bible, to support all of the claims I was making at university. The following year at university, I left the Lutheran church for the Baptists. I also became interested in Calvinism, and God led me to become a Calvinist. With Calvinism came an extremely strong faith, because of my new beliefs in predestination and grace, and the lack of popularity it has among mainstream Christians. I also become much more charismatic, raising my hands to God, praying on my face when I was alone, and praying always to be a prophet. I made a friend on the Internet with a girl in South Carolina; I have to mention Stacey, as she was the greatest encouragement to my faith.

When University didn't work out, I left for another city for tech school. This is where it all went downhill. I didn't mix in with the other Christians at my new church, partly because I had switched churches so many times, I didn't care. Also because of my strong Calvinist beliefs, and my strong desire for evangelism. I found myself with no Christian friends, and realized I had never made a Christian friend at church. I left that church and found another one. My roommate and long time friend at the time was becoming skeptical of Christianity, So I studied Christianity hard, I knew it all, the book of Jasher, Enoch, the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, the church fathers, the whole works.

Without the Christian friends, and learning so much, I began to doubt the virgin birth of Jesus, noticing how pagan the concept was. After that I began to look at the bible's contradictions as really being contradictions. At some point here, I was trying so hard to stay a good Christian my mind began to snap. I tried to kill myself, I cut my arms brutally, and sometimes I cut at my throat. Pornography sometimes got the best of me, but I wanted the church to know that I was a good Christian because nobody at any church had ever known I had been there, or had left.

I learned more and more, I got baptized, and wrote my own profession of faith which I said before the church. I remember so clearly how strong it was in my mind that I was going to hold onto this covenant, that I was going to be a Christian of great faith, and do great things for the Lord. I almost made it a year after that, when skepticism of bible inerrancy, the virgin birth, the idea of hell and salvation, the logos(the word) being a Greek idea from Hereclitus in 500 BCE, it killed my faith. I moved away from my Christian friends, I went to church with my Christian brother, the one who converted me, and then I quit. No, he doesn't know I have left Christianity as of the time of writing this. In combination with my fervent prayers for Christian friends, to be a prophet, and against pornography leading to nowhere. God gave me a girlfriend, and that gave me hope, then He took her from me, I began to notice there is no plan, God isn't working in Stacey's life, her life never became more loving or more patient, her god was dead in her life, I could see it. Christianity is a Jewish Sect, it is nothing more than a Jewish sect that has been Hellenized, Romanized, westernized and contemporized.

Right now, I am leaning more towards being an atheist than an agnostic due to a conversation with the Mormon's, in which I was deeply offended by many of their comments. I live a perfectly happy, healthy life. I feel free, I don't feel bad for not being able to pray, I don't feel guilty, its been 2 months, and the process of telling my friends that I have left Christianity for the world I know. Its a difficult process, and I am not looking forward to the day that I will talk to the fundamental Calvinists, my knowledge surpassed theirs about a year ago, but it will be interesting to see how they try to reconvert me. Its too late, I'm gone for good, even the idea that God exists is fading fast. Moreover, life without God is suiting me just fine, I don't miss it one bit.

I Became a Christian at age 16
I Ceased being a Chrisitan at about 22
I am a guy from Calgary, Alberta Canada
My past label were Lutheran, Southern Baptist/Baptist, Calvinist & Charismatic.
My label now is Agnostic/Atheist Why I Joined Christianity? The Holy Spirit told me to
Why I Left? The Holy Spirit wasn't real