sent in by Iris
I’m now 34 years old, I was raised in the Christian Faith. I was in the Church of God in Christ all my life and was taught the doctrine of that domination (cult). At 21, I received the baptism of the Holy Sprit, which was one of the happiest days of my life because for the first time I really felt the presence of God or some higher power in my life. At the church I attended, I sang on the choir, was the secretary of the Women's Department and I participated in the activities that went on there. Everything in my life surrounded by the church I lived and breathed it and I looked down on others the didn’t share my beliefs. I made lots of friends... good friends at that church. I know they are good friends because I always choose my friends carefully. Although I no longer attend church, we are still friends.
My life as a Christian was almost the same as everyone else here before they left Christianity; very restrictive, most confusing and almost oppressive. Almost everything from going to the cinema to wearing nail polish, even clear nail polish was a sin.
Three years ago, out of the blue, I just lost the desire to attend church, any church for that matter. I wasn't angry at anyone, no one had hurt me, I loved the church I went to. My love for God never changed, however, my opinion of the bible has. At first I felt ashamed and scared because of what my family and church friends would think of me so I lied and told them I was attending another church. After a year, I didn’t care who knew.
Some Sundays, I go to my mother's church and I have a great time but I still couldn't understand why I couldn’t get myself to go back to church regularly. I prayed for God to give me understanding about my Dilemma. One day, while surfing the internet, I began to accidentally come into sites that emphasized the importance of having a spiritual relationship with God vs. being religious.
I began studying other religions and their beliefs outside of the Christian religion and found that however, flawed like Christianity, their beliefs surround the principles of God's commandments, however, they don’t emphasize Christ and the Trinity. Some religious books, such as the Koran are in harmony with the bible. The Koran acknowledges Jesus Christ as being the son of God, sent by God to save humanity but they believe that God the Father should be worshiped more than God the Son since He is the one who sent Christ in the first place. I found that we Christians tend to worship God the Son more than God the Father, in church, in our songs and etc.
A few months ago, I stumbled upon this book called "The Dark Side of Christian History" by Helen Ellerbe... have any of you ever read it? If not, I think you should read it sometime. This book was written in a concise fashion and details the horrors, both spiritually and physically, that the early Church visited upon members of society. I found Helen Ellerbe's research to be thorough, with a bibliography citing many historical documents and publications. I believe that the book is not something that Ellerbe just wrote. She did some serious research on the dark history of Christianity when it became a organized religion. Although some things have changed in the Christian church today, some aspects of our doctrines still reflect the dark doctrines of the early church.
In conclusion, folks, God wanted to show me that there is more to him than what I was learning in church. but in order for me to see that, I had to lose the programming that I received from being in the church all my life. I began to research into things that I was forbidden to go into by the church because it was considered a sin. What I learned from my research, is that any person, who is lives a morally clean life, who loves humanity as well as himself has eternal life regardless of whether they worship Christ or not!
I no longer live a religious life but I live a spiritual life in which I now look within myself for answers, not the church.
How old were you when you became a christian? --- 10 yrs. old
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? --- 34 yrs. old
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? --- Chrismatic/Pentecostal
What labels, if any would you apply to yourself now? --- Spiritual
Why did you become a christian? --- I was taught that it was the right thing to do
Why did you deconvert? --- It was the right thing to do
Email Address: irisaboyd at hotmail.com
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)