Free to live

sent in by Holly

I first became interested in religion and God when I hit my sophomore year of high school. Those years weren't the best for me, for some people they are but for me they weren't. It was difficult fitting in, and trying to be popular to me was just so superficial. I wanted more than that to make me happy.

I sought out religion because I had so many questions about life, about God, about living. I thought that I didn't know anything and more than anything, I wanted to fit in. I went to church on and off for the remainder of my high school years, when I hit college things were different for me.

Things weren't as difficult socially as they were in high school. I grew up a lot in college. I was no longer the awkward young girl.

It was in college that I really began to ask questions about everything, critical and logical questions. These questions were difficult for many Christians to accept as well as my honesty about certain things in religion. I would try to be honest about how I felt about things that were difficult for me to accept like dying for Jesus Christ if you're face with that.

I didn't go to see The Passion of the Christ, because I didn't want to see such a gruesome and violent movie. I can handle movie action but this wasn't your usual stylized movie action, and I could tell that from the released trailers and production photos at movie websites.

I got criticized by Christians for admitting my honest feelings of struggles with faith, and I was also getting tired how petty Christians are. They think that their strength in God and in their faith, is by not seeing R rated movies, by only surrounding yourself with Christian entertainment. By not cursing and by playing the role of the happy little Christian.

If there's something popular in pop culture, the Christians try to convert it to the church by adding Jesus, Christian, and God and I think they do that because they feel that if its secular then they can't be involved with that. As if the only thing that they can be involved with is all things pertaining to Christianity. Its really sick. Its like a disease. I was tired of that.

I was tired of feeling guilty of seeing a movie if it contained a couple of curse words and a sex scene. I was tired of the guilt that Christians and Christianity try to make you feel guilty. That's why they have their own versions of publishing, movies, and music. Yet its all imitation of what is happening in secular culture. Christian stuff isn't as good as the authentic things.

Most of all it drives me crazy when educated people, deny the scientific evidence for evolution and for other scientific facts. For example, scientists have figured out how to date rocks and other things, but certain Christians with college degrees refuse to admit that these rocks are millions of years old, and say that the earth is still 6,000 years old or whatever. How can people ignore scientific proof when its standing right there in front of you? Maybe its hard to give up religious beliefs, but its worth it if the truth is right in front of you.

I had a lot of questions that I knew I wasn't going to get answers for, I know that. I just didn't think Christians would be so uncomfortable by that, what's the point of believing in God and having faith if you can't ask the hard questions? I'm not interested in being a robot. I took a class in world religions in culture, and saw similarities in religion. Then I learned of an ancient religion called Zoroastrianism which was the basic beliefs for future religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

I'm just a normal young woman in my twenties trying to make sense of this world and of my life. I do believe in a higher power in the world, I think many of us call this higher power God. Religion is all made up as I see it. All of it was written by human beings who may or may not have been in their right mind.

No one can know what went on during those times when the "holy texts" of the world were written, no one knows what went through those peoples minds when they wrote what they thought were truth and scriptures. That's why I can't believe that the Christian bible is the complete truth. I do think that there's good and evil in this world, created by humans, who else?

No one is against you, the world isn't against you, the cosmos aren't against you. Honestly. Its a tough world, I don't know why, its just the way that it is. I think that we're the only ones stopping ourselves from truly becoming better people and succeeding. We choose what we believe about our lives and ourselves, we choose what we become.

I'm tired of the fanaticism that has been taken over in this country, people are getting really paranoid with their religion. If something bad happens then its the result of the devil according to them, well I refuse to feel fear of something that's made up! It doesn't help that Christian authors write about spiritual warfare. I don't want that fear and paranoia in my life.

I have felt so free ever since I quit Christianity. I feel more confident in who I am as a human being, I'm no longer unhappy like I used to be always worrying that I was never pleasing God. I watch movies that I was afraid of watching before thinking they were immoral, they aren't! I have a lot of catching up to do since I'm such a huge film buff. When I listen to Madonna, I don't feel guilty anymore. I love her music.

More than ever I feel free to no longer define my life and myself by whether or not I watched an R rated movie and if that makes me a good person or not! I'm free of legalism, Christians fool themselves into thinking that their in a relationship with God but they're just bound by legalism. No wonder so many of them lead secret lives and are so messed up. No wonder so many teens rebel against their families.

I'm free to be me, I'm free to live. I have purpose and meaning, and that can't always be defined by religion.Its something that I have to define for myself. I love myself and my life. I love my family, my friends and I do my best to have strong relationships. I try to make the best of every day and of the life that I've been given. Its all any one of us can do.

How old were you when you became a Christian? 16
How old were you when you ceased being a Christian? 21
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? non-denominational
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? freethinker, humanist, spiritual
Why did you become a Christian? I thought I found the truth
Why did you de-convert? I was unhappy living a Christian life, I realized Christianity isn't the truth
I don't come from a religious family. Some people in my family believe in a general God but no one's really religious and that's a relief since I have quit Christianity and the church.

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