sent in by Mikey B
I began practicing christianity at age 11 with an over zealous heart to become a member of my Methodist church. I saw the older kids in youth group and immidatly wanted to fit in and play in all their reindeer games. From the teeter-totter a thons to their movie nights and discussing this book that they said to live their life by. (stuff that I wouldnt change because it has made me the person I am today)
By the time I hit 14, I was completely indoctrinated into believe that anything I thought was immoral was sin and when I caught someone fooling around with their unmarried significant other, I cast them off demanding that they repent of their sins or they were going to hell.
As the years progressed, I loosened my grip on the fire and brimstone and started down my own path of rational indulgences.
By the time I hit college I started opening up from the outwardly critical to a more inwardly critical view. My father and close aunt had passed away from cancer and I progressed to be influenced more and more from my surroundings.
Finally sucumming to a drug addition that I afforded through a music minister position at a small local church. All the while believe that complete use of drugs was fine because I used them to have 'religious' experiences (which, acording to anthropology, where common around the Palastinian state).
So armored with this idea that the choices I was making using substances, believing in a deity that would wash away any acts I had disrupted, made me delusional to a part that I believed that I was a miracle away from having the same enlightenment as Jesus himself.
While still stoned I attened my duties as a music minister at my church and began to give my own sermon quoting bible scripture to the bible study before the service. Though I can not really remember exactly what was said throughout that time, it landed me in an insane asylum.
From that point forward, I could not come to grips with what the church's problem was. Here I was, for all intensive purposes, a man that would not hurt a fly, was kind to all people I met, who turned the other cheak constantly, and believed with my heart and soul that I did what Jesus would do who was turned away from the church for a drug induced lunacy.
It sent me into such a rage that I througholy believed that everyone was out to get me in a pszicofrenic nightmare. Finally getting away from all outside influences, I went to pick up a decent amount of weed (though supposably had been clean for all intensive purposes that my family and church knew) and in my next 'religous experience' drove and believed that I was invincible. I believed I could do anything with no consequences.
At 90 MPH, I drove my car off the express way and brought it back onto the freeway. Believeing that I was still invincible, I did it again. Though this time to the tune of flipping my car and hitting the ground 7 times.
I realized that when it was all over, I was upside down, and some man named Adam appeared trying to help pull me from the wreck. I thought I had awoken in Eden. Though, suprisingly, not what the authorities believed.
I still believed that I was invincible when I ran infront of on coming 70 mph traffic back and forth across the road until a cop got me on the ground to restrain me. From that point forward I really do not remember much, I awoke a few times after the adrenaline and THC worked its way out of my system in the ambulance, then the hospital, then in county.
From that next morning, I realized the insane trip I had been on since my world was turned from the time my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I really wondered why Jesus would put me through all of that just to realize I had a problem. Wouldnt I have learned that lesson after I went to the insane asylum for spouting off at church?
As time passed, I read into my addiction and also some great read such as Daniel Quinn's Story of B which was a complete indictment of 'saving' religions.
I began to realize that I was not taking responcibility for my own actions. I believed that through powers that were not in myself, everything would work. That something else was going to do the job for me.
I started remembering what things I was saying to others throughout that time and how similar to what Jesus was saying around the time he was around. I realized, no kidding people would throw up arms about him. He was disrupting the natural order of how things worked for an other cracked out lunacatic's diatribe.
The problem for me has been, for the last 2 years, I lost my faith in everything. This left me with the biggest whole for a kid that grew up believing in something, I now believed in nothing.
Thats when the law of the universe seems to come in right when I needed it. I learned of a lay Buddhist organisation called SGI that was just the rational and logical philosophy I could believe in. Which claims, and has fulfilled results. There is a quote from the philosopher Nietzsche that there are two main differences between christianity and buddhism 'Buddhism promises nothing, but actually fulfills; Christianity promises everything, but fulfills nothing'
If people like practicing christianity, good for them. I pray that they actually follow their own scriptures and are unjudgemental pacifists and kind to their neighbors and to remember that everyone around the world is their neighbor.
Who knows, it may just work out after all. sorry for writing out my whole life story! =D
Became a Christian: Born one, confirmed at 11
Left Christianity at 22
I was an United Methodist
Now I cam a Soka Gakkai lay buddhist
I converted because I believed it fulfilled me
I de-converted because of self loathing
email: pianom00 at yahoo dot com