I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger...

sent in by Robert

Both my parents were raised Catholic, and just like most Christians I've met, had never thought twice about it. It was always 'the way things are' even if they didn't quite live according to the doctrine. Like all children, I believed what I was told, and when any question regarding how the Earth was made or why we were here, or why something was the way it was, I was immediately referred to the Bible by my mother.

I had gone to a Catholic church until the age of 5, when my family then started attending a Christian church. I became very involved with the church the older I got, but never really felt the spiritual aspect. I would go to a youth group on Sundays and felt it more of a social gathering than anything else. I played percussion in the worship band and attended weekly bible studies, but only to see cute girls, or to hang out with friends. I had always felt too old for my age, and although I didn't have very many friends at school, I felt like I fit in better with the older kids at church, who accepted me and made me feel like an equal. I still never questioned the validity of the teachings or the faith, but I did very often feel guilty about things I did: lying very frequently (especially to the older kids at church, to seem cooler), and worst of all: masturbating. I had a very strong sex drive starting in elementary school, but I knew that God looked down upon lust, and that to look at a girl with lusting eyes is just as bad as having sex with her.

I guess the guilt factor was one of the things that kept me in church, even though I felt even guiltier about being a "Sunday Christian" than anything I had actually done. I would go to school and curse with the other boys and even (at times) deny I was a Christian for fear that I would be laughed at. I would try to pray in my room at night, but after hearing no response from God, I would feel like maybe he didn't loved me, or looked down on me so much because of my sins that he couldn't even talk to me. I had never felt his presence in my heart, or ever heard his voice during a prayer. I would see the folks in church who would lift their hands up to praise this god and I wished so badly to have that kind of faith and to really feel the presence of god. But I never did. I felt like maybe it was a test, and so I was baptized in the church, mostly (although unconsciously) to gain attention and acceptance from the church community and my parents, but I really did want to dedicate myself to god so that I might feel his presence like everyone else did. I continued sinning, even when I would try with all my might not too, and begged for forgiveness every night.

By the time my parents got divorced I felt things were changing. When my parents started dating other people and my dad would have his girlfriend stay over and vice versa, I became very resentful and would call him a hypocrite. He eventually would stop coming to church with me, and would just take me and pick me up (often times picking me up half an hour late). Because of this I ended up not going to church again until I got my drivers license. I drove myself to church the first weekend I had my license, and have never been back since. The next few years I forgot about Christianity more or less, until some big problem or event came up and then I would pray to god for everything to be ok....for him to be there and help me....and adamantly apologize for having forsaken him for such a long time.

When I turned 18 I was forced into homelessness by both of my parents refusing to let me stay with them (my dad had subsequently moved 3 hours north of where I lived). I slept in my car and worked a full time job for months, in a very confused and frustrated state. This is the first time I really questioned whether or not there was a god, and whether or not the Christian faith was really what it claimed to be (I had already figured out that our society was in shambles once I smoked pot for the first time, and this mind opening allowed me to continue figuring things out). Finally I was able to admit to myself that god had never been there for me, had never showed himself to me or talked to me, and that any emotional response I had gotten from praying had been self induced.

The hardest part was admitting that there was no heaven and that I really didn’t know what happened when people died. It was very tough realizing that I really didn't know what people were or why they were here, or what this all meant. I decided to start from square one and forget everything I thought I knew about the world. Looking at Christianity from an outsider’s perspective allowed me to realize how incredibly flawed it is.

You are supposed to keep a certain level of naivety and contentedness in knowing that you have the answer and that everyone is wrong and that god loves you no matter what you do. It's hard to realize you don’t know the answer, and that no one does. But once you do, the burden is released and things seem a lot clearer.

Thousand Oaks
Joined: Raised Christian, baptized at ages 6 months, 12 years old, and 14 years old (the latter two by my own will )
Left: 18 years old
Was: Christian
Now: Homo Sapien
Converted because: I was raised that it was just the way things were, and could never see past that
De-converted because: I was finally able to admit to myself that there was no god (at least the abrahamic god)
email: nonamakermusic AT yahoo dot com


Bentley said...
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Bentley said...

The Bible was written to comfort the dying. The invention of the soul was to make people think that there was something bigger and better than what they were going through at the present time, it's a mental placebo.

You may have fell off a cliff or been stabbed or you head hanging on by a shread, and some religious jerk tries to comfort you by saying oh lucky you, you're going to Heaven to be with Jesus, just say that you believe in Jesus and you'll soon be beside Jesus when you die.


Fear of dying=Jesus

Jesus=fear of death!

John said...

I'm stunned by the extreme ignorance of the statement, "I had attended a Catholic church from the age of 5, but then my parents began to attend a Christian church." What is a Catholic church, then? Jewish? Who is it that is nailed to the cross above the alter? Whose Stations of the Cross do Catholics say? About whom is the Divine Mercy Chaplet prayed to God the Father? Whose Body and Blood do Catholics believe that they are consuming at the Mass? Whose Sacred Heart is painted on the wall? Jesus Christ is the answer to all of these questions.

The sentence, which I might not have quoted exactly, should have read, "I had attended a Catholic church from age 5, but then my parents began to attend a Protestant church."

This belief on the part of Protestants that Roman Catholics aren't Christians is based on the Doctrine of Mary, of course, and prayers to the saints. But let's not forget that the Mysteries of the Rosary and the first half of the "Hail Mary" are taken directly from the Gospels, not out of thin air. Jesus Christ wasn't alone in the world, and He did give authority to heal illnesses and forgive sins to His Apostles. He didn't do this so that once that the Apostles were dead, they would be ignored in one's prayer life.

If Protestants and former Protestants that are now atheists actually went through the trouble to read "The Catechism of the Catholic Church," they would at least rank Roman Catholics among the world's Christians. Believing what they believe is another matter, of course.

Never Going Back said...

John: We don't give a shit about the Catholic church or any other for that matter. Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox...we laugh at them all. We are equal opportunists. We wouldn't want to keep any Christian denomination out of your Hell. I do, however find Catholic dogma and creed to be even more repulsive than that of Protestantism.

To Robert: I am sorry to read of your lonely experience with the Bible-god cult. I never felt "the presence of God" either. I too, couldn't ever feel his love for me. I could NEVER stop feeling guilty and unloved. I felt like I was always tap dancing on God's heart hoping to make him love me. I felt like a little girl twirling in my pretty little dress with ribbons in my hair, but He never saw me. I begged for Him to talk to me, to give me answers, to comfort me. I was confused continually when it came to the issue of salvation, because of the number of contradictory scriptures regarding the issue. I could not justify the inconsistencies any longer. Christians just can not accept the fact that one of their own could actually defect from their cult after conducting an honest study of the Bible and the Hebrew and Christian religions. They just can't fathom a "real" Christian ever leaving so they will just tell us that we were never really saved to begin with. They can't conceive of the idea that a search for truth leads one AWAY from Christianity and not toward it. At least we can agree with them on one thing though. We know the truth and the truth HAS set us free! AMEN!

Anonymous said...

I grew up Catholic, attended Catholic schools for 12 years. I was distintly and authoritatively told, when I referred to myself as a Christian, "We are NOT Christians, we are Catholics!".

freedy said...

Catholic,..shmap-holic! Here's a thought.

According to the babble;...

(1) Were born in sin,...children of the devil.(abusive parent)
(2)C.p.s.(the holy spirit) steps in and rescues us!
(3)We are then adopted by a new father,.."The Almighty"
(4) we receive a new family ,.."the church".Along with a new friend and brother,..Jeebus!
(5) A new social status "a mansion in heaven" etc..etc...

The bible covers alot more than the fear of death,..it comforts all our fears,....christianity is for fearful,weak-minded ,confused and gullible.I know, because I "was one" for 23 years!I finally grew up spiritually,... and now can think for myself!!!

dmaas said...

I think you will like it here. You will get a lot of encouragement from the members. I wish you well in your deprogramming :-)

I would call Catholics christians, but some Protestants churches consider them not to be xians. I have a friend who told me that God told him in a vision that Catholics are not xians, so it is all a matter of your point of view.

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