sent in by CJ
I was brought up by my mother to go to church, and when to a Christian primary school, however I began questioning my faith as early as nine. At that time we learning about other religions and so I began wondering if my religion was the 'true' religion. I gave up questioning and on Christianity until I was 12 years old. At 12 I went to a Christian youth event. It was the first time I had enjoyed anything Christian based, and was amazed at how young people could be so passionate about God. This convicted me that it was true, and I felt overwhelmed with emotion (which at that time I concluded was the presence of God). I gave my heart to God that night.
At the age of 13 I was baptized, although the majority of people in my church disaproved and were rather unsupportive. At 14 I became a non-christian again as I got bullied at school, and didn't think my Christianity was helping the situation. I month later I felt empty, and knew that I wnted Jesus back in my life. I cried and cried out to God for forgiveness, but never felt forgiven. I prayed, and prayed, read my bible, listened to christian music, thought of God constantly, and still I felt that God had left me. That was until one of my youth leaders prayed for me to be filled with the spirit a year later, and I felt overwhelmed with emotion again, and later began to speak in tongues.
At the age of 15 I went to yet another youth event called Meltdown, which motivated me to get more active about my christianity and try to save all my non-christian friends from their fiery destiny. As a consequence I became the most scary fundamentilist Christian one could meet (at my age that is). All the Christian clubs which I partook in and organised exhausted me to the point of literaly almost fainting. My relationship with God was my priority so school work suffered! I spent as much time as possible evangilising to friends and even managed to convert a few. However as you could imagine it is great burden for any 16 year old to bear at the time of her Gcses, that her friends are all going to hell if she doesn't help them. I would sit in my room some nights just crying, because I so desperately didn't want them to go to hell. To make things worse my parents thought I was crazy and often expressed their concerns which made me feel like a retard. At this point in my life my brother and my best friend turned their backs on christianity. I felt like I had lost them both as I was so different to them now, and I also believed that if they didn't turn back they would be going to hell.
At 16 I began having serious doubts about my faith as my prayers were going constantly unanswered. I took the route of researching apologetics in a quest for answers, and I wanted somebody to confirm my strongly held beliefs. The answers were weak and pathetic, but I still tried to have faith and rebuked any doubts in the name of the devil. One day, during one of my attempts to convert a friend, they explained logically that they didn't believe because of the contradictions. I couldn't answer this persons questions, and that scared me. I thought, what contradictions? Then I searched bible contradictions on the net and found many! Some I could explain in context, but most of them were obvious contradictions which I knew I couldn't explain. I began reading essays by athiests, and they made alot of sense! I learnt about bible atrocities, and couldn't believe how a god of love, which I thought I was serving, could kill children, and babies. I began reading bits of the bible that I used to be afraid of, and thought were better to ignore when I was a Christian. I was appalled and confused by what I was reading. I soon became an athiest as I confronted my doubts (it was a gradual proggression).
I felt empty inside though, like a part of me had died, and i remembered a while back I had booked to go on a christian camp. I still went, with a small trace of hope that maybe I was wrong and that these people would show me I was wrong. The camp reminded me of what I used to have, but by then I had realised that what I used to have wasn't real! However my old christian friends talked to me about what had happened to me, and they got to me. They made me think and reconsider my posistion. On the wednesday night I made a commitment, but realised quickly that this was silly, and that the reason why I wasn't a Christian was because I knew logic dismissed it. Faith was ignorance, and I didn't want to be ignorant although it would be the most comfortable thing.
Much of the time I'm confused to what I believe. In my heart I want to be a Christian, but my brain won't let me be! The concept of death frightens me, and I feel like my life has no clear meaning now, and I miss believing in a God that I used to think loved me perfectly. Life goes on though, and one day I'm gong to have to come to that point again when I accept that Christianity just is not the truth!
Became a Christian: 12
Ceased being a Christian: 16
Labels before: Barton Baptist church,Living waters christian centre,Youth alive
Labels now: agnostic
Why I joined: I saw young people all passionate about it,so thought it must be true and I was depressed so the message of the cross appealed.
Why I left: Christianity drained me emotionally, and I learned to appreciate logic and reason over faith.
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)