sent in by Eddie
Hello fellow freethinkers:
My story starts when I first attended a church in San Dimas in 2000. Liked the group, the singing, the atmosphere. But I always afraid I wouldn't "fit in". The people at the San Dimas church has been kind and friendly (not pushy) to me. My troubles began when I joined a youth group at a make-shift church in Pomona.
Why did I want to go through this? I thought a deity (God) would enrich and enlighten me. Maybe it is the lure of instant gratification after seeing people (supposedly) have problem-free lives because of Jesus. After all, the Bible told stories how people were magically cured by Jesus. I was looking for the magic. At this point I already beat a bout of depression and I was tired of thinking that God was just an angry one.
Going to the Pomona church was a mistake. First of all, the weekly prayer of the youth group was "We are not worthy of God's love". How depressing is that? Not even my friend who attended the Sunday morning services there agreed with that! So I struggle to understand the Bible and how it is supposed to apply to me. Guess what, for the record, I NEVER saw my name (or names of anyone else I knew) in the Bible. I just didn't feel fulfilled. Maybe something was wrong with me.
Then came 9/11. I thought I could see Satan's face in the smoke when the World Trade Centers fell down. Turns out my boss was right, it was just an image I conjured up (and he's a Mormon!)
I immediately went to the Pomona church that night (or was it the night after, don't exactly remember) and the preacher, instead of being angry at the a******* that were responsible, he had the audacity of BLAMING America and for what? Distributing porn! Having sex! Yeah, the preacher said Americans deserved to be attacked. And I had to the be fool for offering my soul to God so God could use it to comfort others. I left the church very angry.
Soon after, the Pomona youth group shut down. Was I the cause? Probably not. Then I saw the Catholic Priest Scandal. People who were supposed to be the example of godly life abusing children. My trust in the Catholic church plummeted.
About Christmas 2002, I started attending Bible studies at a church in Arcadia. There I learned another belief that I completely disagree with: "Humans are evil-natured." Not very encouraging. Everything good came through Christ and as a result, humans can't do good. For the next year and a half, I struggled to make sense of this and other Biblical messages. Wasn't much inspiration to pray or to be in the spirit.
Here's what I disagree with Christianity:
* Humans are not inherently evil as born-againers would like us to believe. If we were given free choice, then we have the choice to do good. But good works can't measure up to a perfect standard (humans were imperfect to begin with: exhibit A, me, I had three open-heart surgeries). But who's standards? Since the Bible were written by people (a lot more people than the new revisions care to admit), we are forced to live to someone else's definition of perfection. By the way, who created evil? (It wasn't Adam and Eve, yet humans are supposedly guilty of it)
* What is the deal with this "born-again" anyway? Our first birth wasn't good enough? If there is a truth to God, it would be closer to my grandmother's "God doesn't make trash". If a deity couldn't get it right the first time...
* The Bible doesn't account for anyone outside the Middle East/Babylonia/Israel/Egypt. World travel was more tedious at the time and they didn't have the technology we enjoy today.
* The Bible can not believed literally. The Earth (and Universe) existed well beyond the Bible's time line.
* Supposedly, death is more important than life. That is all what Christians talked about: Jesus' death and sacrifice. Human life seemed unimportant. Yeah, in the grand scheme of things, human life is a spec, but since we are living it, it IS important.
* Can you imagine if a human father told his children "you are not worthy of my love, you are only getting it through grace", "you are inherently evil", and "if you don't return my love I'll make you suffer"? The father would be in the nut house! What terrible things to say to children, as they have enough of a struggle with their self-esteem (most of the children anyway).
Plus almost every time I thought about God, Jesus, the Bible, etc... I felt the world's guilt and it saddened. Wasn't "finding Jesus" supposed to be inspiring? Oh well. Not once I had the spirit "talk to my heart" even though the door has been open. Maybe I'm expecting too much? Or am I just missing the point.
So today I decide to let go of the unnessary guilt and sadness. Life is too short. I believe humans are just as necessary to life like dogs, cats, birds, and the rest.
Thanks for reading. I wish you nothing but the best.
Became a Christian: 23
Ceased being a Christian: 27
Labels before: Two college youth groups.
Labels now: What labels, if any would you apply to yourself now? Human Being
Why I joined: 23, and maybe 26 (I said the prayer twice)
Why I left: 6/6/04 (official)