sent in by Momo
I was raised a Christian, but even from an age when I didn't even have developed analytical thinking skills, there were so many things about Christianity that didn't add up. When I asked the adults, they couldn't explain anything to me without using circular logic or saying "the lord works in mysterious ways."
When I was 12, I went through a major depressive period because I thought I was going to hell because I thought somehow I'd accidentally sold my soul to the devil. That's so embarassing to look back on now, but at the time I wanted to kill myself. Only problem was, if I killed myself, that would make my descent into hell that much faster.
I came to the conclusion that there IS no Satan. Evil is not an external force that coaxes us into doing wicked deeds. The only Satan that exists is inside all of us. It occurred to me that the belief in Satan causes us to not take responsibility for our own evil actions.
After that revelation, reconciling what I knew to be inherently true and what my church taught to be true became more and more difficult. I started going to other churches, but they were worse. Some were just gaudy and glitzy and should've been labeled "Jesus does Vegas." Others were so obsessed with just getting members that they peddled baptisms like a used carsalesman would peddle an old Volkswagon.
But the ultimate end to my faith was the fact that I just couldn't believe that any loving, benevolent creator would send us to hell for such minor, petty offenses. I had to believe that any god would give us clear, concise instructions pertaining to his will when our eternal souls are on the line. The bible, for those of you who have noticed, does not fit that description.
However, because I live in the bible belt, just about everyone around me thinks I'm going to hell. That really, really hurts to know the people around you who should love you secretly "know" that you're eternally damned. I just tell them that I refuse to be bullied into a religion. It seems to me that most Christians unconsciously base their faith off of a fear of hell and adhere to the "it's better safe than sorry" philosophy. I try to explain to my Christian friends that while I'm happy for them that they find comfort with their religion, most of what Christianity brought to me was fear, anguish, and dread.
I'm no longer a Christian, but I do admire a lot of the basic concepts of the religion. The teachings of Christ were about acceptance, love, and tolerance. I don't have to believe in him as a deity to follow his example. I believe in doing things that are right because you KNOW it's right, and that helping each other is the right thing to do because all we have is each other.
Was: Church of Christ
email: mogiex at aol dot com