sent in by Matt Scheeren
For as long as I can remember, I was a Christian. Born and raised as the perfect little kid who never did anything wrong. In truth, I was like that due to the fear of the so-called Christian "hell", that we talked about every single day in Sunday School. The mantra "Fear is the best control" really rings a bell with my situation, because as I grew older I started questioning different things that I was being taught. It started out with the "Eternal Sin", which I was absolutely convinced that I had committed somehow, and worrying day and night about not being able to spend eternity with the Christian "God".
Then came the other questions like
1) Why can't I question any of this publically without being labeled blasphemous ?
2) If God loves us all like they say he does, than why do some people go to hell ?
3) There's about 7 billion people in the world, about 1 billion Christian, am I supposed to believe that God is going to damn the other 6 billion people to hell just because they didn't believe in an old book and a guy with a good message (Jesus) ?
4) If God loves me so much, than why am I told to fear him ?
The questions continued for a long time, and as you can imagine, they only grew stronger. But questioning what "God" says, Ie. The Bible, would have people in the church(s) I attended calling my questions blasphemous, and that if I continued to question what they were teaching, that I would be destined for hell. Gee, sounds like a cult to me. When I would approach my family about the mere possibility of other "religions" being remotely true, they would totally freak out and I'd get a lecture on why the Christians were right, and the only way to get to "Heaven" was with their Jesus.
So I continued on my road to re-discovery, because the Christian road has too many holes in it. Contradictions that you could line a library with, but with Christians who deny that they even exist. I was doing some alternative psychotherapy with some really great people that my family had set me up with. Learning a lot, and getting helped out with some issues that needed resolved. Stuff you've probably never heard of like EMDR and Radix, but to tell you the truth, it worked.
Although I found something that my family didn't expect. I was finding the road to freedom. And not their so-called freedom through "Jesus". I was finding my freedom through Love. It was really an amazing feeling to actually stop thinking about what "God" or "Jesus" would think about what I was doing.
With Love, I felt an interconnectedness between me and everyone. I no longer discriminated against those people who believed differently than I did. I didn't hate gays anymore (which is something that my church taught). I started opening up, and being myself, instead of the good little brainwashed boy that I had grown up to be. I started to "rebel" and speak my mind. And in doing so, opened the road to freedom even farther.
It was in 2001 during the afternoon while driving home from a meeting with my psychotherapist buddy. I was on a backroad, speeding with the music cranked. About 5 miles out from home, I decided to pass someone in front of me, while going 90 mph. Unfortunatley I didn't know that it had just rained there, and when I came back into my lane, my car fishtailed and I went over a 20 foot dropoff, flipping my car end-over-end.
It was in that car wreck that I got my first taste of death. But it was also in that wreck that I got my first taste of life. Just as my car started to go over the 20 foot embankment, I looked over to see a tree smash through the passengers windshield side. The next thing that happened was great. I was out of my body, and totally surrounded by Whiteness. Not a white light, no tunnel, just white.
And there was something else.
There was Love.
I guess you could call where I was an Infinite Room, because I couldn't see the end, and I couldn't see the beginning. Not only that, but I was one with the Love "there". It was totally amazing. Like nothing that the Christian religion or any other for that matter have ever decribed to me. There were no "Golden Streets". There were no "Tree's of Life". It was just me, the whiteness, and this Infinite Love.
I don't know how long this lasted, because when I came back, I was hanging upside down by my seatbelt, and surrounded by white smoke. But something had changed. The Infinite Love that I had experienced in the place that I had just been was still with me. I comforted the people who had stopped to help me, but they were freaking out. I joked with the doctors in the emergency room. And I told my family about what had happened.
Their reaction wasn't exactly what I expected. It was more like an "oh, that's interesting" type of thing. Yes they were happy that I survived, and with hardly any injuries, but I was hoping that they would be as thrilled about my Out of Body experience as I was.
Over the years I've relayed the story to them when they want to remember what happened to me on that day, but I always get the same reaction when I mention my Out of Body jump start into Love. I guess I had already been on the road to freedom, but I needed to die to find out the truth.
Now, 2004, I no longer fear death. Actually, ever since my car wreck, I've lost just about every fear that I had. Death, spiders, you name it, the fear is gone. The experience I had changed my life forever, and only for the good. Because now I'm helping a lot of other people with their oppressive beliefs. The beliefs that aren't instilled in us from birth, but rather indoctrinated to us as truth.
Became a Christian: 6
Ceased being a Christian: 21
Labels before: Anything and everything with the word Christian on it
Labels now: Free
Why I joined: I was unfortunatley born into it
Why I left: I had an Out of Body experience in a car wreck that really opened my eyes and my mind
Email Address: mattisdx 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)