sent in by Wolfgang Faust
I have read several of the testimonies on this site and I see so much of my our conversion in them. I will try to explain what took place in my life. I was born into a very religious family and decided to become a Xian when I was 8 years old. I went to Sunday School and the like and heard all the great Bible stories. I bought it all of course hook line and sinker. And why wouldn't I, my parents wouldn't deceive me. As I grew older I began to take my beliefs very seriously. I studied the Bible very intently. I lived the life of a Xian (no drugs, no sex, no liquor, no swearing). When I graduated High School I joined the USAF. Suddenly I found myself in a whole different world. I was a thousand miles away from my home, my family and my friends. So I went to the only place where I knew I would be comfortable, the church. I joined the biggest Baptist church in town. The people in the church were impressed with both my knowledge of the bible and my ability to teach and preach. I began to teach the college age sunday school class. This is where I met the woman who would be my wife. While we were dating I was licensed as a minister by that church. I got married and took a job as a youth minister.
This is when I first started to see some of the problems with Xianity. I presented a challenge to the kids in my high school youth group; "Find a biblical basis for babies going to heaven." This was a question of God's justice. Xians believe that the only way to be "saved" is to profess your faith in Jesus. A baby has no ability to do this. And since Xians also believe that life begins at conception, any aborted baby would also be condemned. Many of them came back with age of accountability arguements. I asked them to show it to me in the Bible. Of course they coudn't because it isn't there. The fact is that there are no exemptions in the bible.You have to believe in your heart and confess with you rmouth that Jesus christ is lord. This arguement also goes for anyone who has never heard of Jesus. I believe that this question was the reason that I was asked to resign from my position as the youth minister.
It was then that I decided to take a hard look at Xianity. I removed myself from the Xian atmosphere and began to look more closely at some of the things I had stuggled with as a Xian. My brother had a bit to do with this as well. He had recently left the church as well. He came up to my place and asked me some very difficult questions. If God is purely good where did evil come from. His arguement was that a purely good God could not even conceive of evil or the propensity for evil. He also had some questions about free will. "Could Adam have not sinned?" he asked. Because the Bible says that the plan for Jesus to come and pay the price for sin before the creation of the world. Another question was, "could Jesus have sinned?" For if it was impossible for him to sin he really wouldn't have been 100% man and therefore not a perfect sacrifice. If he isn't a perfect sacrifice he is nothing.
I guess this was the point that I actually renounced the church. I began to study comparative religions. What I found was that they aren't all that different. They all have one or more supernatural beings, some form of prayer,whether it be Xian prayer or Wiccan and Pagan magicor the Satanic Churches force of the will. They all teach that we should live as good a life as we can. And they all have their myths to explain those things we don't understand. So I have simply decided that there is no need for me to feel the pressure and fear of eternal torment to live a good life. I am accountable only to myself.
To wrap this up, I am much happier now living my life according to my own rules and not those written by religious fanatics thousands of years ago. The only struggle that I have now is the fact that my wife refuses to give up her religious views. I also have two children and it have become a real issue as to how we will raise them i.e. Xian or atheist. I have a post up about this in the relationship forum. Any in put would be great.
City: Colorado Springs
Became a Christian: 8 years old
Ceased being a Christian: 24 years old
Labels before: Licensed minister Southern Baptist Church / Youth minister
Labels now: Atheist
Why I joined: I was 8 and thought it was the right thing to do
Why I left: I studied my way out of the church
Email Address: wolfgang_faust 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)