sent in by Richard
Let me be honest and up front with you: Christianity is bullshit. I am going to tell you a story, my story about my life as a Christian and why I left. I cannot, with a clear conscience, sit here and do a partial truth because I am afraid that I step on someone's toes. I owe it to myself and all others wondering to be honest.
I accepted Christ as a young man with an extreme fear of dying and going to hell for the sins I had committed. I was only nine and was raised my whole life in church. I was taught that Jesus is not just a religion, but a lifestyle that must be lived and abided by every second of every day. As the years went on I tried, out of a sincere compassion for people, to be as involved in ministry as a "good Christian" can be. I joined AWANA in high school and taught a group of young kids on Sunday nights. I provided hospital visitation to the youth department . I cleaned the church on weekdays, attended Wednesday night services, and was present every Sunday for all day at the church. I was an usher and an errand boy and did my best to become more involved every day in what gods will would be for my life and the church. Then the revelation hit me: What if it all was bullshit? What if everything I was doing was simply pleasing the man behind the pulpit and had nothing at all to do with god?
It all started when I was around fourteen years of age. The man who took over as pastor for our youth department was none other than the early twenties-something son of the head pastor and not a week out of the Marine Corp. By his actions he was hardly what it typically defined as a godly man but was sucked up to because of who his daddy was. In a strange turn of events the pastor's other son took over the music ministry without a spec of musical knowledge. I started wondering why the pastors sons would be appointed pastors themselves when they had none of the qualities that are required to become a pastor. As I got to thinking about the issue more I realized how much of an idiot I was for not picking up on this sooner. It turns out that seven out of the twelve pastors at the church I attended were related. The other five were best friends with another appointed pastor. I could not believe the connection . I started looking more into who my pastor was and why i had even trusted him. I recorded his messages for about twelve weeks and listened to them. The one thing funny that I noticed was that they were all connected, in one way or another, to giving to the church or submitting to it. It seems the pastor was very obsessed with either getting your checkbook or your service and not much else.
The real kicker was when I went on vacation for two weeks when I was fifteen. I came back after a two week cross country trip to find out that my new youth pastor was waiting to spiel with me. He came over to my house to tell me that because I was a no show for two weeks at church without their knowledge of my activities I was going to have to step down from my ministries. Ironically, he spent four years away from the church in perhaps the most non-Christian branch of the military, but we just don't talk about that. I explained I was on vacation and did not feel that I needed to tell the whole church where I was going. He told my reaction was a definite indicator of my heart attitude and unless I changed immediately I would have to step down completely. I was sixteen and, out of partial pressure from my parents I submitted and apologized to my youth pastor and assured him it would not happen again. Then i noticed that some of the pastors children, my own youth department classmates, were leaving for a month at a time and everything was fine. Nothing would be said to them because of their status.
When I was seventeen my father became severely depressed and quit going to church. For three years my mother has been going to the pastors of the church begging them for help. Asking that someone go and visit my father to make him feel like someone other than his kids and wife care about him. Just one person. For three years she has been promised that someone will show up to visit with my dad and show him the "love of god". Needless to say no one ever showed up.
I quit church altogether when I was eighteen and able to move away from my fanatical parents roof. I quit being a Christian two years ago. It is not that I do not believe in a god. It is that I no longer believe in people. I look at Christianity for what it is and frankly there is not much there. There is a god who sent his son to die on the cross for our sins, go to hell for us, and then rise again three days later; However, somewhere in all the action we somehow forgot to let any reputable person know about it, so that is why it isn't in a history book. Somehow it slipped the radar of the Romans, who consequently were the best record keepers of their day. A man beat death and no one knows about it? do you see where I am going with this?
I find it hard to believe that a god would come to earth and go through all that trouble and fail to make it abundantly clear that it happened. Many Christians say that that is where faith comes in to play. I wonder if they ever stop and consider that when you have faith in something you must first be able to prove that it exists in order to believe that it is going to do what it says.
This is the tip of the ice berg in the things that made me turn from Christianity. There is a lot more but I included the main points. I can sit here with a strait face and tell you that I was one of the most zealous and sincere Christians that you can be. But I never did feel god. I never saw him in a church or in someone else. I never knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that anyone ever did. Do I believe in god? Absolutely. Who is he/she/it? You're guess is as good as mine. If he wanted us to know he would not have gone through so much trouble to make him hard to find.
I am a free man now, and not because I am "hiding my inner guilt" like the Christians teach you to think when someone denies Christ. I am a free man because I can do what I want and think for myself without the fear of retaliation from a man and a church hellbent on control. I am free to meet people now who are not of the Christian faith and accept them for who they are. I am convinced that some of the most respectable people in this world are some of the prisoners, porn stars, and homeless people. I love talking to them because they have nothing to hide and no one to impress. It is clear who they are and what they do. You will never find that kind of honesty in the religious world.
If you would like more information about any of this story, or just want to write me please feel free to email me. I thank you for reading this and wish you the best of luck and a wonderful day.
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)