sent in by Joel Atkinson
To sum it up...I got saved in a small country Pentecostal church when I was 14. Before long it was my entire life, leading me into ministry in the form of preaching, teaching, evangelism, counseling, general church work, visiting people, you name it. i first began to preach when i was about 17. I read the bible almost exclusively, only adding to it Christian inspirational books, articles, sermons, whatever.
I loved and listened exclusively to Christian music. I prayed daily and often for hours at a time in my room. loved to worship the lord in singing and physical acts of worship (bowing, dancing, raising hands). I was awarded and praised everywhere among fellow Christians for my faith, even receiving denomination awards such as Mr. Texas for the Church of God one year, super camper awards and so on. I wanted to win the world and I fervently wept for the sinners of the world on many occasions.
So what happened?
I was never saved, some would say, and I would totally agree. I never was saved and neither are they. I loved and worshipped the unknown creator/source/whatever of this universe and I still do. I’m not an atheist, although I certainly understand their reasoning.
I see god in lots of things, maybe even everything, but I will no longer claim exclusive rights to that god over the many beautiful peoples and cultures of this universe that happen to see things differently. Nor will I say I serve a god of infinite love and spew forth from the same orifice the belief in a sadist's wet dream called hell, reserved for all those other peoples of the world, that being the Native Americans, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and the child-like artists who look to a god who is easy to find.
One who looks back at us in the mirror through that "window to our souls". One who sings with the wind and shimmers in the sunlight on the trees. This is my personal philosophy, which is probably not anything new. In fact, I know it's not. God is the ultimate artist, living and dying within the very creation she brought forth. She’s not gonna’ show up and clean this beautiful mess up for us. Her spirit, her want and need is within us all and the job is ours. i despise the modern evangelical faith in one fashion above all others. It abandons the earth and universe we have in favor of an easy out. It’s sad that those who claim to be lovers of god would not give a rip about her creation. that the lovers of god, as they call themselves, would want to welcome the rule of Christ with his iron rod, forcing the entire world into submissive rule under his "kingdom of love".
That the lovers of god would torment themselves so fervently over the natural urges of their own especially created and designed temples (aka, their bodies). It’s sad that the lovers’ of god ultimate answer to the conflicts of life is ultimate apocalypse and the return of the vengeful god of the Old Testament, who is to re-replace the way things are done?!? I mean, first there was law and then Christ brought grace but then it's ultimately back to law again, right? Anyway, I’m rambling. I just have a lot to say - more later.
Country: United States of America
Became a Christian: 14
Ceased being a Christian: 22
Labels before: Baptist, Church of God, Assembly of God
Labels now: wide open
Why I joined: felt emotionally drawn to god
Why I left: unable to reconcile loving god with sadistic hell
Email Address: jwillgator21 at yahoo.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)