Sent in by Thomas M
This has to be one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my Life. With each keystroke my heart pounds a little harder. My ascent into an ex-Christian has been a painful and liberating journey. I may be young (25) but I have a lot to tell.
My Dad was born again when I was five years old. He felt the call of god and moved out to Springfield, Mo to attend Bible College when I was 12. He was an old-time pentecostal full of the spirit. He pastored 2 churches and currently is a minister for a jail. I was home schooled from 3rd grade till 10th grade due to sin in schools. The only people I knew were pentecostal people. When I graduated from High School I had a dream of becoming an inner city pastor doing what Jesus wanted: Giving up everything and helping the poor.
I went to my Dad's bible college where I fell into sin and was booted for a year. In that year I studied the Bible diligently wanting to become the most concrete christian I could so I would not stumble into Satan's attacks again. I went back to bible college and was married to a wonderful wife. We both shared the call of god on us.
Something changed in me a short while later. I met a youth pastor and interned underneath him. He was the first person that I seen truly characterize what I felt Jesus was. He told me to question everything and not have any stone unturned. I bought an incredible book (The Jesus Mysteries) that showed the flaws of the Bible. I was determined to defeat the books claims and prove Jesus and his religion. I mean I was 2 semesters away from graduating bible college. The strangest thing happened....
I couldn't do it. This book was spot on. I bought other books to make sure this book was correct. Could I have been brainwashed all my life into believing in Jesus.
I told my wife about this plight of mine. She said she was weary and felt the same way I did. We questioned the foundation of Christianity and it crumbled
We both have been on this journey of rejection and development for about a year now. It has been painful emotionally because we are in the Bible Belt and only .1 percent of people here believe differently. (It might be exaggerated a bit)
I say all that to say this. This site has been the biggest help I have seen. I used to Google atheist and agnostic for days to find people going through the same things. We all need support and reading others anti-testimonies are the boost I need to get through the week sometimes.
Tears stream down as I write this. Just one more step in liberating my life and moving on. I find it hard at times to live a life where my comfort blanket has been removed by truth. I find it hard to trust people and even harder to trust myself. Most all my friends have abandoned me. Maybe even sometimes I abandoned them. I feel broken and hurt by my previous life, but I am dealing with it every day. I understand when someone says they are angry with the church. I understand when they say support is needed. When someone feels they can do it alone they are just fooling themselves again. I am proud to call myself an atheist. I am happy for support when I find it. It is like a glimmer of hope in a crowded world. As I learn more I hope to become more confident in my stance and continue on my journey now as a stronger and smarter person through the help of this and other communities.
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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)