sent in by CJ-R
I never thought I'd be writing my story of how I became an Ex-Christian (protestant), but here I am.
As far back as I can remember, my Mom attended the Baptist church (don't remember if it was a First or Southern Baptist) in the small Kansas town where we lived. I really didn't enjoy Vacation Bible School, I would have rather been home sleeping or watching TV. When I was 9 my Dad died suddenly. I was a Daddy's girl so I was crushed. I was very angry with God (think Bible-God) for at least 2 years. In that time my Mom started attending a small Non-Denominational Church in town, which was more like a social gathering than Church, but I enjoyed it. I don't remember learning anything about the Bible or God, but I had lots of fun. Then one day when I was about 13, an Assembly of God preacher, from another small town nearby, came to our door while Mom was gone & left some information about his church.
Unfortunately, my Mom decided to check it out & ended up becoming a member of that church. I hated going to that church! Being female, I didn't fit in with the dress code. I HAD to wear dresses, which I hated. I also thought many of the people, even though nice, were strange.
My Mom worked with a lady who lived in another small town nearby & she attended a Non-Denominational church in her town. They had a youth group, in which her daughter was involved. I think my Mom was concerned about me NOT wanting to go to her church or any church for that matter, so it was OK with her for me to go to church with this lady & her daughter to see if I liked it. I liked it enough that I attended that church the rest of my high school years & most of my college years. After graduating from college, against my Mother's wishes, I moved to the small town where I attended the Non-Denom church.
Even though my Mom still attended the AofG church, she started causing me trouble about going to that "cult". She called it a cult because of problems in the church, as if that hadn't happened back in the "good ole" Baptist church she had attended, & it wouldn't be allowed to happen in the AofG church she attended since the preacher "ruled with an iron fist". So, I was suddenly in a cult & she wasn't. We had such a falling out about it that she even tried to have me de-programmed with the help of some of my friends from high school. She also bothered me at work & talked about it with my older sister & brother & anyone else she could get to listen.
Her church & pastor didn't help matters either, along with ex-members of my church & they helped her to be afraid for me (she was very fearful anyway) & obsessed with the situation. I felt I couldn't trust anyone. I wondered if I was going to have a nervous breakdown like my mom had when I was two. My world was falling apart. I hated my job, didn't like my family very well, felt stressed at church & was physically ill from the mental & emotional stress of it all.
Finally a close friend & I left the church together. That friend is still my friend to this day & had been kind enough to introduce me into her extended family. I'm friends with a few of her relatives. Even after she married & had a family of her own, we attended a few Non-denominal churches together, but belief wise I have changed. She is now in a ministry with her husband & I am now an Ex-christian. Her family doesn't know this yet & not all of MY family knows this yet. Through those years of attending church with my friend, I read the King James Version of the Bible straight through from front to back several times. The more I read it the more I noticed & the more disturbing it became.
I started questioning many things & started my own search for answers. I remember praying, "I want the TRUTH even if I don't like it". The truth I found has been more inwardly freeing than Christianity ever was. Living in the Bible Belt, I don't feel free to express my new found freedom outwardly because I don't want the Christians type of "love" through threats of hell & death threats. I know how they think, I was one of them. If you're a Christian & you sing that song about "this is not my home, I'm only passng through" then why can't you shut up & pass through quietly because this IS other people's home. Also, I don't have to wait to go to a hell, Christians make life hell for anyone who doesn't agree with them & they try to enforce it through threats & politics. Pass through quietly Christians!
If you Christians are afraid for children here on Earth, then don't HAVE children of your own to worried about. When they grow up they're going to make up their own mind anyway, whether you like it or not & you may not even know about their spiritual decision because they won't want to tell you & receive your loving Christian wrath! Pass through quietly Christians, like the Bible tells you to.
Several years back, my mom had a stroke & she finally ended up in a care home. She no longer troubles me about anything & may not even know me when I go visit her. My Fundamentalist Charismaniac older sister passed away last summer believing, to her grave, for her miracle healing. She was in a wheelchair & living in a care home after having had a stroke 3 to 4 years before. She fervently believed she would be healed here on Earth & that her miracle healing would not be DEATH! She ended up buried in the ground like anyone else whether Christian, Atheist, Deist or something else. Her imaginary Christo-mythological Jesus didn't come save her from her plight & her "best daddy in the universe" Daddy-God didn't do anything. He couldn't even (through Jesus name) keep her from having a stroke 3 to 4 years earlier. Christians would say, "Oh well, she's in a better place." ???! Christians come up with such nonsensical garbage & unfortunately I use to be one of them. How stupid!
At first Christianity "feels" so freeing, but deeper into it, it doesn't "feel" good at all! It's the perfect psychological trap! It works on your emotions even though you're not suppose to go by "feelings", but you still feel. You can ignore your feelings, but they WON'T go away! You take the bait & then get trapped & then you have to use reason to work your way out of the psychological trap. Christianity doesn't have ALL the answers. Since there may be some Christians who read this, I say, read your Bible Christians, ALL of it!
If you're a Christian & you haven't read God's entire life manual, then don't tell me you're a Christian because I'll tell you you're a fraud. If you don't read your Bible then you don't know how you're suppose to live to even BE a Christian. I read the entire Bible several times through, so I'm more of a Christian than you, yet reading the Bible caused me to be an Ex-Christian. And if you say there's no such thing as an Ex-Christian then there's know such thing as a Christian to begin with because you really CAN'T ask someone into your HEART!!! It's all in your mind & your mind is what's trapped.
Start reading, start questioning & step outside your overly protected Christian cocoon & start searching for answers. Someday you may find the true freedom you've been looking for. I did! AND it ISN'T Jesus!
Became a Christian: 17
Ceased being a Christian: 40
Labels before: Baptist, Non-denom, Fundamentalist Charismatic (or Charismaniac) Christian
Labels now: If I need a title, it'd probably be Deist
Why I joined: Cornered & preached at by sister, believed it was what I needed to do.
Why I left: Read the Bible (mostly KJV) ALL the way through several times & questioned what I read & what I was suppose to believe. Internet helped me with info.
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)