sent in by Mark
I was born in Pusan, South Korea (1979) and I was adopted by American parents when I was three years old. My American mom is the type of person that is “spiritual” but not religious. You all know the type. She believes Jesus Christ “saved” her and there is a power greater than she is, but she doesn’t adhere to any one denomination of Christianity. She still has the Protestant Christian biases she learned while growing up Seventh Day Adventist. My father is not very religious but he used to go to church with us and was raised a Catholic.
There are several phases of losing your religion: transition away from a literal interpretation of the Bible, movement toward being “spiritual” and not religious, discovery of logical and factual flaws in the Bible, becoming an apologist, deep skepticism, and finally, agnosticism or atheism.
I’d say that I was a typical Christian until I started to think for myself while in high school. Guys mature slower than girls, both physically and mentally. But in High School, guys mature very rapidly as you all know.
I went to a Catholic High School even though was always taught that Catholicism was close to paganism. The first day in religion class the Priest told us that the story of Creation was like a gift where the metaphors were the wrapping. The gift inside was the message of the story. What the Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches taught over time has changed. This is the first thing that should give believers pause. When I was a kid and when my parents were young, the church was taught by fundamentalists that took every word of the Bible as fact. After science has disproved many things in the Bible, Christians learned to “interpret” the Bible as symbolic in some cases but literal in other cases. How do you tell between the two? Christians still believe in miracles.
Also, Protestants accuse Catholics of being pagans and making up “tradition”, when even Protestants are guilty of this. After this realization the typical believer becomes “spiritual” and not religious.
Second, if you read the Bible critically, you will find many logical and factual flaws. For instance, there was no eclipse during the time Jesus supposedly died on the Cross. Showing that Jesus came from the line of David through Joseph is illogical. The line is only kept by the men. Since Jesus was not Joseph’s son, he can’t be from the line of David, thus Jesus does not fulfill the Jewish prophesies. There are probably many things in the story of Jesus that were inserted to fulfill some Jewish prophecy. Christianity is radically different from Judaism. Does the New Testament override the Torah in places of conflict? These are the questions people need to ask themselves.
There is no secular first hand account of Jesus. This is quite odd for a prophet that supposedly had thousands of followers and was crucified by Romans. Constantine probably changed the story of Jesus to absolve the Roman Empire of blame in the story. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Library of Alexandria was burned down to obfuscate the story of the early Christians and Jesus, who is probably an amalgamation of various mythologies. How can you trust the Bible when you realize it was written by men and there were many mistakes?
Third, you become skeptical of Christianity but still believe there is a kernel of truth, thus you become an apologist for your religion. But soon, this washes away in sadness and you finally become an agnostic or atheist. Later on you begin to realize you can till be happy without the illusion of religion and God.
Value is derived from human beings and when a person dies, it is wiped away. People create value for themselves and use symbols to interpret the world. We can choose any action without any limitations. However, the brotherhood of man and the universal survival of human beings is the force that drives a prosperous society. Let us live and be happy while alive, if that is what we choose.
Embrace your humanity and become the son of man.
City: New York
Became a Christian: 3
Ceased being a Christian: 15
Labels before: Methodist
Labels now: Agnostic
Why I joined: Brainwashed as a small child
Why I left: Christianity is for the mindless that seek happiness after they die, when they should be seeking it when they are alive.
Email Address: mrk_lan AT yahoo DOT 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)