sent in by Audie (aka Bluesman)
Let me start by thanking you all for letting me join your site and giving good response to my posts. Your site was instrumental in my final de-converting. But let me start from the beginning.
My Christian life began much the same as most people's who are Christians. I was Raised in a Southern Baptist church, "saved" when I was 9, sent to VBS, Youth group, summer camp, etc. It was the fear of hell-fire that drove me to the alter to get saved that night. As I grew into my teens, I backslid some, tried drugs, discovered sex, and found Rock and Roll. But at 17, I rededicated my life, and shortly after that, I "felt" called into the ministry. So after high school I attended a very Conservative Baptist college to study Christian Ministry.
Right away I was swept away. The school was super Fundy. They were against everything fun. I once got preached at for kissing a girl I was dating!?!?!?! And of course the Christian Rock that I was listening to, playing and even writing songs was not of God!!! God cannot be glorified by rock music. What a blow!! Of course Country was alright.
By my sophomore year, I became "spirit filled" and started attending an Assembly of God, then eventually a full-blown Charismatic church (that I look back on as almost a cult). Well, my baptist friends at school did not like this one bit, but still I persisted, seeking God's will for me, while struggling with the desires of the flesh. I finally gave into them and became sexually active again. I cried out to god for help. I prayed and fasted, sought counseling, and did all I knew to do, but the flesh is weak. Eventually I couldn't take any more, and backslid yet again. By my Junior year I was living off campus and my trailer was party central!!! Well, between drunkenness and debauchery, I totally failed out of my Senior year.
I had no idea what I was going to do, but the Army recruiter told me they would pay me to jump out of airplanes, well shit!!! sign me up. I continued to seek God and attended churches where I was stationed. I got married to a really fine Baptist girl (who after 13 years is still my wife). I could spend all night talking about all the things that have driven me from my faith. Lack of answered prayer, hypocrisy, and the unbelievability of certain bible teachings. For the past 5 years or so, I've been having some serious doubts. Then in July of this year, I was doing a google search for downloadable "Farting preacher" videos when I found this site. I looked around it and was horrified and intrigued at the same time. The one thing that really got my attention was the story called "An Atheist of Judgment Day." link That story was the straw that broke to camels back. It made me ask a lot of questions about what and why do I believe.
It is not easy to walk away from what I've believed my whole life. And to tell the truth, I want to believe!! I want there to be a God, and a heaven when I die. I just cannot bring myself to believe it anymore. I still have some problems with evolution, but that's for another day. I have become a free thinker, and will no longer be told what to believe.
I hope I haven't rattled on too much and bored you all to tears. I look froward to getting to know you folks. If you haven't figured it out, I'm still in the Army (going on 16 years now--4 till retirement!!!) and am currently deployed to Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division. Take care and I'll talk to you all later. ~Audie (aka Bluesman)
Was: Southern Baptist, then pentecostal, then Charismatic
Now: U.S. Soldier is what I am and what I do
Converted: fear of Hell
De-converted: how long have we got?
email: armyairborne509 at yahoo dot com
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)