sent in by John
I grew up in a strick Catholic household. The pressures to live the Christian life are so powerful it's actually amazing that some of us come to the realization and reject it. I can remember times in my life where I was scared about going to hell. I remember feeling so alone during those times. I recall thinking, "I don't deserve to go to hell. What have I done to deserve it?"
Getting past those emotions, the emotions that are central to the stability and survival of the church, I decided to actually study the stuff. When I really looked at the Bible objectively, it all made sense. The Bible is clever and deceiving to the average person. Christians are taught early on that the synopic gospels are simply 3 different perspectives. However, Time tables can overlap, historical figures can overlap, details and inconsistencies become hard to detect, and if you are looking to confirm your faith, those discrepencies will not appear. It's amazing how many people can read over those details, and then claim the bible is free from any error. I found so many weird differences between Matthew and Luke for instance.
Although I don't believe in Christianity anymore, I still enjoy learning about the Bible. For a while my goal was to find as many discrepencies as possible so when a Christian would come up to me I would totally crush him scripture wise. But I learned religion doesn't work like that. People aren't going to believe you. Most people aren't going to think for themselves. Emotions, culture, ignorance, or whatever reason people have for their beliefs will remain unshake. Many Christians are the sheep that follow their shepherds. Instead of caring about what they believe, we need to pray that their leaders have good intentions. When any Christian comes up to me, I shake my head and nod. I don't argue. I don't get upset. I don't try to instill what I believe onto them, even though they might be doing that exact same thing. I don't really care. I just pray that they can live out their lives peacefully. For some people, Christianity is the only hope. It gives people a place to call home.
I think i'm like everyone else. I hope there is God. I hope that this place isn't the last. It just happens I can't accept Christianity (or any other world religion for that matter). But what I can say probably has it's roots in my old faith. We need to give up all the material shit in our lives and protect and defend what's fair. Televangelists that rob old people of their money and hope, Priests that molest boys for their own sick pleasure, cult groups that make their followers drink coolaid cyanide, and all sorts of other crimes are being committed. These are the shephards for some people!! Shake your head and nod to a benevolent Christian when they come up to you next. Somehow we have to find a way to ensure they're in safe hands.