sent in by Marsh
Like so many other people of this world, I became a Christian thru birth. Before I was able to form a complete sentence or thought I was in Church with my parents. Most of the family members on my mothers side are die-hard Christians. So the influence of the church was apart of my everyday life. Every time we had a family gathering of some sort we would form a huge prayer circle while one of my aunts or uncles would have the honor of talking to God.
As I look back at my childhood and all of the religious influences I’m kind of surprised that as a young adult I was able to throw the title of being a Christian out of my consciousness. At an early age I displayed the ability to look at things objectively. This all started with the myth of Santa Clause. While attending a small private elementary Christian school I made it a point to tell some of the kids that Santa Clause was make believe. This would make some of the kids upset but I felt that they needed to know the truth.
This would have to be the earliest example of my living in reality. In my adolescent years I’ve always had this doubt that I just couldn’t seem to shake. The main question that I posed to my parents was “ How do you know if you have the right religion”. They would always seem to answer this question with “ We just know” which to me didn’t seem like an answer at all. There were many nights while in bed I would ask God to show me the truth, or give me some type of sign to show that he or she existed. These prayers would never be answered. So I would just go on with my life having doubts but still have this thing religious people call “Faith”.
One day while watching television I came across one of these religious programs with a preacher saying that the world was only a few thousand years old. Now this bit of information created a whole new level of doubt because I was into reading about Dinosaurs which roamed the earth millions of years ago. Like all kids I turned to my parents again for information but they seemed to not have an answer. So I thought to myself how could a Christian parent take their child to a museum to see Dinosaur fossils and then on Sunday go to church and learn that the world is only a few thousand years old . This was an obvious contradiction that my young mind would seem to ignore as time passed. As I went through High School I really didn’t explore the doubts that I had about my parents religion although I did became a believer in Evolution.
The age of 21 would have to be the point in my life when I decided to absolutely have nothing to do with Christianity. It was during this time I decided to read the entire Holy Bible from beginning to end. The thought was If the Bible was the truth then while reading it I should be overcome with the spirit of Jesus. After getting thru the Old Testament I couldn’t believe what I just read. It was atrocity after atrocity and I couldn’t believe how anyone could say the God of the Bible is a just God. After all we are all punished for the sins of Adam and Eve. In the New Testament Paul orders slaves to obey your master as your master would obey God and as a African American I found that to be kind of strange.
After reading the “good book” I became free. The burden of worrying if I will burn in Hell has been lifted. When I come to my parents with these facts today they seem to ignore them or interpret them into something totally different. Reading Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason” I found a quote that would best describe my mentality today “The world is my country and doing good is my religion”. As a religiously neutral man the only things I believe in is working hard and helping others less fortunate than myself. I’ve come to the conclusion that prayer doesn’t help people, it’s people who help people. Just remember life is short so try to enjoy it the best way you can.
Country: United States
Became a Christian: 1 day old
Ceased being a Christian: 21
Labels before: Pentacostal
Labels now: Freethinker
Why I joined: My parents told me to be one.
Why I left: I finally read the Bible
Email Address: armaghc2000 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)