sent in by No More
When I was six years old my parents took my brother and me to be baptized in the Lutheran Church. We continued to attend regularly and I was confirmed at age 14. I don t think my brother was, because my parents divorced and stopped being involved in the church before he would have studied for confirmation.
By the time I was 19 I felt adrift, without clear spiritual direction, and I wanted to be a real Christian. I prayed and received Christ into my heart. I married a Baptist. I studied the Bible fervently. Before long I became dismayed by all the different interpretations of scripture that are out there. I wanted the TRUTH! After about ten years of comparative religious study, in a used bookstore I chanced to run across a magazine called, The Orthodox Word, of the Russian Orthodox Church. Their claim to have faithfully preserved the original teachings of Jesus and the apostles impressed me and I became a catechumen and converted. But I gradually became troubled by the negativity concerning human nature. And I found it difficult to think of sins to confess every week I went to services for Holy Communion. I mean, I was devout! It was living a good Christian life. I was not aware of sinning. Of course, I was told that is evidence of spiritual blindness; to claim you haven t sinned is sinful pride. Orthodox Christianity is very bad for a person s self esteem and reasoning ability!!
The beginning of my de-conversion was reading a book called, The Christ Conspiracy, by Acharya S. It exposes the origins of Christian doctrines and debunks Christianity altogether. I was actually devastated by this knowledge, but I had the courage to keep exploring. I thought, Well, if Christianity is false, I will explore Judaism, from which Christianity diverged. I had been told as a Christian that the Jews dwell in spiritual darkness. After actually reading some Jewish books I saw that to be untrue. Spirituality is not confined to Christianity. My husband felt that the teachings of Judaism were the closest to what he believes no intermediary, commitment to making the world a better place, freedom of thought, strong community. He felt that Judaism would be good for me, as I missed the fellowship of believers. I studied and converted in 2002. He was very supportive and came with me to services. He followed me in conversion in 2004. It has been good for us.
When my mother learned of this, she had a fit! Since then I have gone through the hell of rejection by my mom, my brother and now my daughter, who is a convert to Mormonism. My mom has disinherited me and is very vicious toward us. I have had to discontinue all contact with her for my own emotional well-being.
Although I continue to attend the synagogue, I have moved more in the direction of Deism or even Humanism. It is difficult for me to recite the traditional Jewish prayers because I don t think of God in anthropomorphic terms, but I enjoy the Jewish community we have. Jews don t try to define God; we just keep a sense of awe and wonder about Life. We emphasize the Joy of Life! That is reason enough for us to continue there in peace.
How old were you when you became a christian? Raised Christian, but "born again" at age 19
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 53
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Lutheran, Baptist, Charismatic, Eastern Orthodox, Reform Judaism
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Jewish, Deist, Humanist
Why did you become a christian? I wanted clear direction for living a happy life.
Why did you de-convert? I did comparative religious studies and discovered the true origins of Christianity.
email: klouises at charter dot net
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)