Sent in by Ellytoad
Before I begin, I want to point out that I am, indeed, an ex-Christian, so forgive some of my terminology here.
Do you know what my least favorite Christian teaching is? It is the one that states how Jesus could have smited all of mankind off of the face of the earth for our evilness but instead, out of the pure generosity of His heart, decided to die for us instead. Yes, the belief that fills so many Christians up with tearful thankfulness used to make me think I was totally worthless. Such a feeling is apparently a healthy one in Christianity's eyes, because it means knowing just how ugly and deserving of Hell one's soul truly is.
After a time of wallowing in this state of mind, I began to realize that mankind was far more innocent of its "sinful nature" than my former fellow believers would have me think. There's two details that brought me to that conclusion; one, we were born with the weakness of sin inside of us, and two, it is apparently impossible for us NOT to sin, so we are basically born screwed. Unless we died as children, and therefore never having committed the crime of reaching the age of accountability, we have personally hammered Jesus to the cross ourselves. Without knowing it.
The problem is, when I told all of this to a fellow Christian on a message board one day, he became angry. He accused me of refusing to take responsibility for my own wrongdoings, saying that it's "always someone else's fault" and generally missing my entire point altogether.
It's a pretty weird spot to be in... being incapable of being entirely sinless but being completely responsible for every last thing, even stray thoughts of envy or anger. And then getting told that you deserve hell and are nothing but crap who was just given the gift of redemption because that's just how nice God is... yes, I'd say that really sucks.
I'm so glad I'm free of that now, and can accept myself again. I can look at my "nails through the hands of Christ" simply as mistakes to learn from, not things to beg for forgiveness for. I can stand on my feet and hold my head high... not with pride, but with confidence in my own true individual value.
Thanks for reading,