sent in by M
The grass was green and the sky was blue. The confidence of life I felt early in my life was intense. I adored life and clouds and rain and fireflies and people. That was my earliest recollection of living and loving life.
I noticed as I got older that the name of the game was to conform to family, events, country, people who talked of god, corporations, etc.
An interesting thing happened when I was 8 years old. My mother got lung cancer and was given 5 years to live. Now, I was the fifth of six kids, there was a nine year gap between the first three and the second. So, my parnets where relatively old to have the next group. My mother was a Catholic and Father said he was Lutheren, but didn't really practice anything.
Anyway, after my mother got sick, thing's got worse. There was alot of tension in the house and uncertainty. She had a "mother be worshipped" things going on in her mind. We had moved from Illionois to Colorado when I was six. The first three kids all grew up in Illionois. After awhile the "altitude" became a problem in Denver and we sought to move to Arizona, so we did.
This did not provide a cure for my mother's use of oxygen in a can, which we all thought we where moving from all the other family that moved to Colorado to Arizona to begin with. So, after 32 years of marriage my father left when I was 12 and younger sister was 10. My oldest brother went back to Colorado as soon as he could.
As I got older things got worse with my mother's health mentally, physically and emotionally. I often wondered if there was a god why things got so bad. This is where my spiritual pursuit began at age 19 near the time of my mother's death and trying to seek a life that would be more in concert with god and so that perhaps I could find favor with god because I didn't know what "sins" my parents made that made there life go to hell.
Anyway, after a suicide attempt at 17, my sister also tried one at the same age. After I had moved back and forth between my parnets and dropping out of high school at 19 I watched CBN and related to a testimony. So, I called the 1-800 number and it was busy, but I kept calling thinking I had to be serious about this.
At work a guy came along that was installing some new machinery and he had a glow, a confidence, a purpose. He wasn't on drugs or smoked or drank, he was just there to install a new saw from Michigan and he caught my eye. I wanted to have confidence again, I wanted to have a purpose, I wanted to love myself like he seemed to do when he could not get something to work, but kept trying.
My roomate and I invited him over one day after work and he told us about Christ. He showed us the "four spiritual laws" tract and I was hooked. I thought to myself, that is the problem, my life was disoriented because I didn't have Jesus on the throne of my life like the picture had it in the tract. My life was a disorganized mess and I thought this is why my parents lives became so messed up and mine also. So, I accepted Christ and thought this will be great. I can have confidence and purpose.
I did clean up my act, I did have a purpose now. I did quit smoking pot and never really drank, but quit drinking then and smoking cigarettes. I dived in with both feet and studied my brains out. I went where "god led me" which at first was with a friend of my mom's who went to a pentacostal type of non- denominational church. So I studied everything, a job came along and I stayed there for 11 years.
While at the church, I learned I had to speak in tongues and was fine with it. I wanted it all. So I blathered and thought I got it. I thought great, we are all going down to Mexico and I can try out speaking in Mexican while I was down there. Well, it didn't work, like in the New Testament.
So, after much more study I finally ended up in a group of people who "divided the word of truth". I thought that was the ticket, I studied before with the "devils false brethren" and really had to disect the word of truth then all the confidence would be mine and all the real understanding. So I learned the differance between law and grace, Paul's ministry and how he was given to the gentiles while Peter and James where given to the circumcision and how tongues ceased and where only working at a certain time. Before this time with these folks I had heard of the differance between law and grace and was considering going to Oregon to study greek with a group.
Well, I did find a group locally that studied the King James Version and knew the differance between law and grace and they claimed to know it because the "other versions" didn't want people to know the differance. So I studied with them for a couple years.
Now, the reason I wanted to get this all straight was because I eventually wanted to get married and if I had kids, wanted them to know the "right way". That was one motivation, the other was to see how my parent's went wrong so I didn't do the same and suffer what they did. I think there are more motivations also.
As time went on I could agree with the King James only stance my new friends stood on. I could see that when you compared the scriptures like the NKJV, or NAS, or NIV. That the sentence structure was differant and the "direction" of the sentences did lead to a differant understanding of certain very important doctrines. For a time I thought this was great and didn't have to get all jumbled up with studying the greek and all those differant greek versions.
Anyway, as time went on I had some serious weird doubts. Especially about the word. But even personally, wondering about the "hand of god". A girl came along during this time that was really cute. Now take it, this is a small group and I had the notion in my mind maybe god was going to give me a wife. Well, she was screwing one guy there a brother of my roomate at the time. I started to "date" her and told what she was doing was wrong and she understood. We got along really good, but then the pastor's son was starting to rebel a bit and thought she would be great for his penis. Oh, the light bulbs went on. I mean, god could favor some kid that didn't give a rats ass about what he was taught and his older two brothers where married, so the pastor got this chick to obey so enter into the close nit family they had. I always admired there family it was close nit and great. I was jealous of it in one sence. It was everything I wished I came from. There kids beemed with confidence and assurance of there future. I was still scraping, staying out of debt, saving $30 a week, giving to the church etc.
Now, I kept myself really pure during this time. I never fornicated or anything. I never went to bars or went to clubs or even had porn. At one time I even tried with all my heart not to masturbate and was out at a restaurant one time with a friend and had to excuse myself several times to the bathroom because I "had to" ejaculate. I mean I cut myself off from all sin as much as I could. I thought for sure god would reward this effort with a wife. Or if I was to be single, take my sex drive from me. It didn't happen.
So, as studying went on in this group. One day the preacher was teaching on the preservation and inspiration of the King's James Bible. How it was the perfect and inerent word of god. He said, " If this isn't the word of god, we may as well be at home watching football". What stuck out to me was he was right. The other thing that stuck out for me was there was not one person in the 1990's that spoke in the King's James version or even cared. I understood all the arguements for the King James and agreed that there had to be one preserved, perfect word of god out there. I agreed that the differant versions all had a differant slant in sentence structure. I also knew that this girl that did like me and I could of screwed, wanted not god's will for herself. But, a family she never had and the security and money and lifestyle they had.
So, after that I tried to hang on to some faith thinking I missed the boat or was too harsh and tried again the non-denominational route. I met a gril that would of been great as a secualr wife, she was a nurse. But, I was already done. I already didn't feel this was right any longer.
So, I ventured out into getting a one bedroom condo and just being by myself. I thought the economy of having kids and teaching them anything worth while was a lost cause. I discovered beer and just delivered pizza and drank beer. Paradise on Earth.
I did meet some new girl and it didn't work out. She was artistic as I was and I thought I could help her. But, it just led me to alcohol abuse even the more. My self esteem was shot. Not only from my upbringing, but my "failure" to understand god's will. I was completely drained and got a DUI in 2002. I tried AA and can't even get myself to the god part.....it is gone.
Anyway, I am trying to sell my one bedroom condo now that I discovered was shit to live in because my crack head neighbors kept me awake. Thats one reason, the other is I tried 6 jobs in 2003 and 2004. So, I guess the final joke is on me. I learned alot about myself and people and women the last couple of years. I want to sell my place now at the top of the market and live in a van. This is my second condo I tried to live in, both had shit for neighbors.
So whether in church or no church. There is no god for me. I suppose if your Christian it has to do with predestination. If there is a loving god he hates me and my decisions and likes to torture my soul. Or there is no god and I am just growing up and have to make the best out of life as I can.
At this point, I think I had to grow up and realize I am like a duck, turtle, or fish and just do what I do. I will never get married into a "christian contract". I will never support the christian laws, or Roman based laws of justice for all. Life is a crap shoot, there is no lesson to be taught or purpose other than survial to be achieved.
Left: Mid 20's
Was: Pentacostal, Ultra Dispensational, Non- Denomination
Converted because: For answers, salvation
De-converted because: No answers, no salvation
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)