Sent in by Ray J
This is written for the purposes of 'coming out,' to finalise within myself what I have come to understand, and so others know that what they're doing and thinking is ok.
I am a bible college graduate (Faith Mission Bible College, Edinburgh) and a BA(Hons) Theology graduate (Nazarene Theological College, Manchester.)
I was the guy in school who made the anonymous evangelistic posters and stuck them up around the school.
I'm the guy who wouldn't go to my school formal becuase it was an un-Christian alcohol-fest.
I'm the guy that taught the others at Bible College about sanctification and initially shook my head at any bible other than the KJV.
I'm the guy who stood at 'open-air meetings' in Edinburgh and allowed myself to be laughed at, have stones thrown at me, and stood up bravely to teach the Gospel of Christ because I would stand against the world and be a fool for Christ.
I'm also the guy who felt a lot of misery becuase the world was such an awful bad place, a world full of sinners, and I wasn't one them...except that sometimes I was, that f****d with my 'heart.'
I'm the guy who missed out on so much of the social life a kid has because I was a Christian & I was gonna stand by Jesus rather than join the infidels.
I'm the guy who didn't discover I was actually an independent person until a little later because I was concerned with being someone else (Jesus Christ) rather than being myself, the guy who suffered a smack right between the eyes when I realised that I could be myself. I'm still dazzled by that smack between the eyes. It's great.
The first inkling that it was all nonsense was when I said in one of my missionary reports in-front of hundreds of people that I gave all of the glory to God for our missionary success and not to the organisation (I actually said it emphatically three times to impress my peers, "said brave words to impress the fundies" as a line in one of my poems goes.) My Faith Mission overseers pulled me in for saying this (SURPRISE!! Thought I was doing what was expected, thought I'd be declared a brave unshakable man of God) gave me the most blatant b******ing I had had up to that point, made me pray at the end to make it a 'Christian' b******ing and then boasted to someone afterword that I was 'that small' (showing a small size with fingers) when I left the office. (the person they boasted to informed my Father about their attitude.)
It's not out of anger at this that I left, although I am angry at how I was treated, it's just that this made me realise that I'd been serving a system and not Jesus. So, I resolved to serve Jesus alone, as I began to do this and think for myself I began to change and became vocal about it which caused one student to tell me that I had darkness in my eyes and was leading the group of guys I socialised with down hill.
So, I went to do my BA to learn more about the Bible and the tradition so I could serve my God in full truth and honesty forever-more, over the process of studying I slowly came to realise that it doesn't make sense. Just look at the proceeding pagan myths, the theories of NT construction not to mention the fact that Christianity simply uses the same arguments over and above Judaism as Islam uses over and above Christianity as Bahai uses over and above them all....where you gonna stop with that then, and man I wish God would stop starting all these new religions lol.)
On-top of that, as a philosophy, it's very in-humane, the god behind this existence just philosophically can't be sensibly thought of in the same way as the Christian God.
You wanna learn about god? Get your head outta that holy book (Man if gods gonna teach us he isn't going to write it in an abusable twistable book) and look at what's around you.
I've spent the last 3 years since graduating trying to convince myself that it is true, but it can't be done, the evidence says it's not, and I feel so happy that I no longer believe in this. That I've been strong enough to overcome the psychological bashing Christianity had previously given me. I feel so free, so REDEEMED, it's unbelievable!
The only reason someone who pursues an honest evaluation into Christianity will continue to believe in Christianity is because they want it to be true more than they want to discover the truth.
Thanks to deciding to serve Jesus alone I no longer believe the system they blamed him on or the book they wrote about him. I think there probably was an enthusiastic Jewish preacher behind the stories, but f*** did his followers screw him over. Poor guy.
I'm not an atheist though, I don't think that makes enough sense either, eternally existent physical matter makes a whole lot less sense to me than an eternally existent metaphysical energies (god in popular thought,) but I can understand why some are. It might even be 'god' who helped me get out of the Christian nonsense because whilst still a Christian I prayed very earnestly again and again to know the truth and see reality, maybe my desires where somehow acknowledged by the energies behind existence I don't know. My studies suggest some sort of pantheistic 'god,' but I also think that the only honest philosophical perspective on 'god' is that of agnosticism.
Only problem is I gave my whole education over to this Christian foolishness, despite one of my teachers telling me not to, what a waste...but then, becuase of who I was, if I hadn't I'd still be stuck in that mythological & oppressive anti-human system.
Now for the closing note of my freedom song: for those who think that my only problem is encountered in evangelical theology, I began training some time after my evangelical education to work towards becoming an Eastern Orthodox priest, but their theologies fall apart too. And I've read Brian McLaren and been a student and advocate of Emerging Christianity for the past couple of years, but then I woke up. There's no point in building an emerging post-modern theology upon myths that just aren't true, no matter how post-modernly palatable these new theologies happen to be, the myths they are built on just aren't true, so there's no point in advocating an immature theology which exists only to preserve ancient myths in new theologies. Just drop the myths and move on.
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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)