Image by atconc via FlickrHi, my name is Eric, I am currently on the fence between continuing a Christian concentration and just kinda letting it go. I'm just looking for comments or suggestions or insights.
I was raised believing in God, but not very strictly or "raised in a bible" as I like to put it. In high school, some of my friends started taking me with them to the youth ministry at what is now my church. As it was the first time I had really delved into religion and Christianity, I was intrigued and was quickly pulled in.
Well, as I've continued over the last three years, I have learned more and more. The more I learn, the more doubts I have about Christianity. First of all, and I read about this on another submission on this site, one of the primary things that attracted me is now what is driving me away the fastest. I am so tired of all the optimism and prayers. When having a problem or a dilemma, I want to be able to go to someone I trust and get advice, and support. Well at church, if you seek advice you get told to pray about it; or, if the person happens to have time, they will pray with you. Then there is the eternal optimism: "You were laid off from work, whereupon you arrived home to find your house had burnt to the ground, and then you suffer a massive heart attack that almost killed you" after this, most christians will say something along these lines: "Well, God must have thought it was time for a change in your life" or "Well God's plan is not finished yet, I'm sure everything will work out fine."
What Christians fail to realise is that, dammit, sometimes there are just shitty situations. Sometimes, no matter how hard you pray, you are in a bad situation and you have to make the best of it.
Next, and something else that drew me in is being in a group that supports healthy decisions and avoiding addictions, etc. Well with me, and with many of the people at my church, this view made me EXTREMELY closed-minded and almost abusive to people who made "bad" choices. I would be vocally outspoken against my mates at school who drank alcohol, or had sex, or smoked. Then finally, earlier just this year, my life changed (the details of which are for another time) and I finally woke up.
I saw what I had done to myself, I had limited my friends to only those that fit the "Christian way," while looking down on those who made those "sinful" choices in life. So I finally changed my thinking, I went out with a mate and got drunk, I had a cigar and a couple cigarettes, I cussed like a sailor, and (as bad as it sounds looking at it this way) life got easier. I was making friends with the people I met, accepting them for who they were and not thinking about their imperfections. I do what I enjoy now, not what some book says to do with my life.
So now here is where I have been plopped. I have few friends left in the church (the "escapades" detailed above sent most of the compassionate, non-judgmental christian people in my life away, yes...it is sarcasm) and I now have been spending time with mates who aren't expecting me to do this better or stop doing that. I'm happy, but the Christian that is left inside me says it is wrong to abandon the faith.
I'm just lost, I hate to give up on it, but going to church every Sunday has become a lie, and all I think about when I'm there is how much it all doesn't make sense.
Sorry for ranting on for so long, please leave a comment or some insights.