Sent in by Michie S
Sunday I attended Church with my parents and I think it will be the last time I ever set foot in a Church as a Christian. I have been wrestling with my decision to leave Christianity since the beginning of 2007. I stopped attending an Apostolic Pentecostal Church - that I now consider a cult - over two years ago. I was a member of that Church for over 12years. I was in ministry, in leadership and worked quite closely with the Pastor. I have been attending various other Churches on and off since, but I can't do it anymore - I can't pretend I believe when I know in my heart I don't.
Over the years the hypocrisy, judgmental attitudes, constant fasting, praying, superiority complex and outright lies of so called Christians (my Pastor included) broke through the barrier of the "don't ask, don't doubt and especially don't question" dogma that I was brainwashed into believing. I am sick, angry and heartbroken to realize that I believed all of this nonsense for so long and wasted so much of my life trying to be a good Christian and to live holy. I was abused horribly by that Apostolic Church, and gave so much of myself, my money and my time to ministry and service. Nothing belonged to me, it was all for God and his glory and his kingdom. Even my son suffered so that I could do God's work!
I got to the point where I felt that I could never be good enough, or holy enough or saved enough. Going to Church meant being put down, shouted at to try harder and always leaving feeling worse than when I arrived. When I first left people called to try and persuade me to come back, telling me to just "sit under the word" and somehow God would open my eyes to the delusion that I had fallen under. When this did not work both my son and I were shunned by people who were our dearest and closest friends - it was as if we had the plague. I was told that I had put my life and my his life in danger and that we would go to hell! I was never allowed to defend my reasons for leaving.
This is all so fresh and new to me and I finally know what "I" feel and "I" believe. I can think for myself and trust my own instincts! The hard part now will be telling my friends - many of whom are still devout Christians as well as my parents. I think it will be hard for them to accept. Anyone who knew me even 18 months ago would not believe that I'm where I am today. I was tongue talking, foot stomping, bible thumping, prophesying, anointed oil carrying saint of the most high God!
I'm not sure what to call myself, I just know that I don't believe in Christianity or the bible and I can hardly comprehend it myself sometimes. It all seems like a bad dream, that I've woken up from and realized that I'm free! I have no intention -to misquote the bible -- of being "entangled in that yoke of bondage again"
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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)