Sent in by Anya
When I contemplate my journey through Christianity, I’m reminded of that old Rod Steward song that goes, “If I listened long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true.” More than anything in the world, I wish I could sincerely believe in Jesus or God, but at this point in time, intellectually and logically, there is no reason to believe.
I grew up in a household of lapsed Catholics. They taught me how to pray and we went to church occasionally, but my parents warned that the Bible wasn’t meant to be taken literally. My mom also used to dabble in astrology and even consulted psychics on occasion. Even though I lacked solid religious structure, I always wanted God to be a close part of my life. Before tests and competitions I would pray to the Almighty to help me win. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. There were times when I experienced such amazing coincidences that I was sure I was getting signs from the Almighty.
In high school I had a boyfriend who was interested in fundamentalist Christianity. The Christians I got to know through him were truly wonderful people, willing to drop anything to help you out. They seemed to exemplify the true spirit of Christ. Of course, there were others that were arrogant and judgmental, but I dismissed them as not being “true Christians”. I also attended Catholic schools for a few years and had many positive experiences with the priests and nuns. I have no sour grapes.
Over the years I continued to identify myself as Christian although I rarely went to church. I still maintained an active prayer life and felt that God was always with me and would protect me and bring me to heaven. To be honest, most of the time I was more worried about my looks, boys, friends, and school, but my underlying belief in the Lord gave me peace of mind. Of course I had been taught about science and evolution but I found ways to rationalize this as being consistent with a Christian God.
This past summer I had what you might call a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized for almost a week. For awhile I totally lost touch with reality. I believed all sorts of things that I now recognize are not true. Among those thoughts was a belief that Jesus was coming down from heaven to take me as his bride. This was based on something I read in the book of Revelations. Obviously, this didn’t happen, although I strongly believed it at the time and even thought I had evidence to justify my expectations. Once my mind straightened out, I was left to wonder if some of the most basic religious ideas that I had might not be true either.
It was while studying for the Law School Admission Test that I had an epiphany. Studying for the test taught me to think logically about everything, and that included religion. I started to realize that if you logically look at Christianity, it just doesn’t add up. If even the apostle’s questioned Jesus, how was I supposed to trust in him when all the evidence pointed against his being the son of God. Plus, to believe in Christ you must also take the Old Testament as being true and that book didn’t hold up to scrutiny either. If this is the God that created the universe, then he also created science, logic, and reason. Why would this God want us to believe in him based on hearsay? There were numerous other questions that Christianity couldn’t answer.
I wish Christianity was true. I wish there was a benevolent God looking out for us who would listen to our prayers. Not having God in my life has left me feeling empty and depressed. I have gone from feeling like an immortal being made in the likeness of God to simply an evolved monkey, nothing more than a collection of cells, alone in the cruel world. This change in belief has certainly humbled me. The church can be so seductive, but in my heart I can no longer call myself a Christian. The decision to live in reality has not been an easy or happy one.
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)