sent in by Mark Fouche
Well....where should I start? Like all Christian cliché stories I will start by saying that I was brought up in a Christian home, Christian family and Christian community. Now my whole life I believed in Christianity as being the way....yet never really thought about it or had the "revelation" ceasing my heart and convicting me to turn to God. I had dabbled in witchcraft and the occult and was always interested in that which was unknown.
Now my whole life I had suffered rejection in some sort of sense and I remember crying myself to sleep at night when I was younger praying to God to just kill me, or for Jesus to help me as I felt so alone.yet my prayers were never answered. I carried on through life almost committing suicide at the age of 11 or 12.
Things got better until at the age of sixteen I lost almost all my friends by something i did. This drove me into depression and loneliness, I became "broken". I started going to a youth and was enveloped with warmth and friendship, this ignited my emotions and I became a fervent believer. In 3 months I became a youth leader. i was contempt with my life. I became so bold that at school I stood up at break in the midst of the crowd and would preach the word. I studied the word daily and prayed daily. I held prayer meetings and had an all night prayer where we waited for the "baptism of the spirit". I preached at school and in youth. we went to centers and preached the gospel. went on camps where we "experienced the holy spirit". Had emotionally driven rallies where you would get goosebumps and shout out to Jesus.
When I left school I went to YWAM(Youth with a mission) where I did mission work in south Africa and Zimbabwe.Experienced the manifestation of the Holy Spirit! In this I started getting weary. I did not understand the tongues movement, slain in the spirit, laughing ,crying,etc. I never experienced it , and when i tried I felt more depressed. Eventually I gave into it believing it was true!I came back home and was offered the chance to start preaching in the main services at the age of 19! I gladly accepted and started preaching to the best of my ability. I then had to study theology for this. I did not understand half of what i was learning, it raised more questions. Predestination, God's character, love, sin, the holy spirit ,etc. I battled to discern what was true and what was false. People kept telling me, "don't focus on things like that!" or "you shouldn't ask those questions!". So I shoved it under the carpet! Started studying full-time last year for ministry and preached often, yet in that preaching, the only person I was preaching to was myself,. I preached to convince myself! I never saw peoples lives changed! I prayed more and more, and searched! I wrote journal entries in which I speak my frustration!
I quit the ministry and started a job requiring long hours, in 2 weeks I snapped out of my mindset and my questions flowed. No longer were they shoved under a carpet, but i was tired of ignoring my doubts. I ran out of faith to just believe in God and believe above the doubts. People say I think too much, I say that I don't know how not to think. I stopped praying because I noticed my prayers caused more harm than good. I got tired of putting my hope in something that ALWAYS let me down. He was a friend whom I was told to trust, who let me down in every way. Every rejection or pain I felt rose up again and I realized I was broken even more and had more weight on my shoulders!
My friends question me and I happily talk to them, their response to my questions and comments are "I don't know" or they just respond in the old Christian cliché "I just believe" or I have faith. I questioned someone on faith. If Mohammad had to come in blazing light and fire and say "Jesus is not the way , I am" would you still believe in Jesus. The answer? Yes! Faith is blind! The blind will lead the blind in the hole as the scripture so says! Nothing is proved in Christianity, It is all assumption....based on no fact!
Have I fully denied the existence of God? No... I have more rebelled from Christianity and ran from this Jesus that I have come to hate. How do I love someone I don't even like?! I don't love God, and I don't know how to, This God that loves me is the only source of power to save me ....yet he chooses not to! I am always told "It's a choice" I did not choose to be born. God knows where I am going...before I was born, he knew my choices. Yet he still chose to give me life! Life into damnation! What am I to feel? Maybe religion is a crutch for people to stand on when there is nothing else to turn to! I tried and came from it all.A question to people I know is this " you knew me when I had great faith, I believed myself that I would never stumble...look at me now!Where was Faith?Where was God's saving power?
As I always say and will finish with this end. It has been about 6 months since I took my first step away, and I have realized this one thing. Whatever you shove under the carpet now,you will trip over later. My questions are too great for me to believe or follow anymore!
Converted because: Was Lonely and "broken"
De-converted because: Became even more broken and hurt
email: markfouche 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)