My journey from born-again Christian to non-Christian is not all that exciting. I have no stories of tragedy or abuse or any real stress that caused me to pull the wool from over my eyes. Christianity did not offer any immediate negative happenings to me. Christianity actually served me pretty well with a few exceptions. It was a very slow and gradual process that I was never really aware of until it was complete. So here it goes, hope you are still interested.
I was raised by Christian parents who were raised by Christian parents and I'm pretty sure they were also raised by Christian parents. My parents were very reasonable and practical people over all. They were legitimately kind to others, Christian or non-Christian. Me and my brother (me and my brother are my parent's only kids) had lots of non-religious friends and my parents were fine with that. However, we also had lots of Christian friends because of the church which my family is still heavily active in. The church is a non-denominational Bible chapel.
We (the church) believed that the bible was god-breathed, Jesus is the Son of God, the whole salvation thing and all that jazz, evangelism included. My mom was active with junior and senior choirs. My dad was a trustee and eventual elder. Me and my brother were involved with youth-group activities. Me and my brother brought a lot of are friends to these activities, most of them being non-Christian. When we were young, me, my brother, and are non-Christian friends went to these activities because they were fun, not really because they were religious. But as me and my brother got older, we became more religious, rather than just going for the fun and games. Me and my brother were both passionate people and we really did care about christianity. We asked a lot of questions and my dad actually encouraged this unlike many other christians I hear about. My dad was all about getting the honest truth.
The first big event that I feel led me away from Christianity was when my brother started commuting to School of Visual Arts in New York City after he graduated high school. My brother is very eccentric, artistic and hard working. He did good in school, but he started questioning Christianity more so than usual due to the new and colorful environment of art school. Me and my brother have a close relationship and talk to each other a lot, so I heard all about his questioning and it slowly got to me. I had plenty of questioning too, but his experiences and questioning really paved the way for my own to come out of the shell.
The next big thing that caused me to get away from Christianity was my non-Christian friends which were mentioned before. Those non-christians were stronger friends than the Christian ones. They were better people than the Christian ones, or at least more down-to-earth and honest. They were real, much more real to me than the Christian ones. They listened to non-Christian music that was VASTLY superior to Christian music. They weren't my friends because god told them so, but because they honestly liked my company, even knowing that I was a Christian and they were not. That kind of respect and companionship was something that I could not leave alone without returning the favor. And the big kicker was that, according to them, they didn't really like christians, but I was an exception because I was tolerant of non-Christian behavior, though I can honestly say I did not partake in non-Christian behavior when I believed (sex and drugs). I was the last person to be manipulated by peer pressure. I didn't realize then, but now that I look back on it, it disturbed me that these good people were going to apparently burn in hell, which brought up a whole bunch of subconscious thoughts and doubts.
The next big event was after questioning Christianity more and more over a gradual span of years from my late high school to early college years. I started reading the bible for myself, because I was getting tired of getting mixed reviews and interpretations from all kinds of christians and friends. As I started reading it, my belief that the bible was "god-breathed" became less and less and eventually disappeared completely. It supported slavery, racism, sexism, genocide, persecution, death penalties for silly "crimes". These things I always assumed Christianity went against because I thought Christianity was morally correct. This lead me to realize that my morals did not come from the bible or religion, but from common sense and my surrounding society's influence. Once I finally stopped believing in the Bible as a holy book, Christianity soon left with it as a whole. The foundation was destroyed and soon after the entire structure fell.
In the end, the more I look back on it, the more I'm surprised I left.
Christianity didn't give me any real immediate problems. I was raised by very Christian and consistent parents who raised me and my brother very well, mostly due to their view on Christianity. I had lots of friends, Christian and non-Christian. My non-Christian friends accepted me as a Christian. I suppose I changed because I value truth (based on my perspective) over convenience.
Funny thing is, in the end I finally followed the advice of all the Sunday-school sermons and I actually read the bible, front to back, and that's what gave me the biggest push to leave it. I love irony, it's great for the blood.
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