8/05/2010 | Share this article:By Robert W. --
I was raised in the Church Of God. We always had to make it clear that we were headquartered in Anderson Indiana. We were not those crazy holy rollers that had the same name. My church group was very clear about one thing...sin. There was no drinking,no cussing,no smoking,and no sinnin' with the wimmin'.
Image by jaxxon via FlickrThat last commandment was particularly tough,especially if your a thirteen year old boy,and I did so love the girls. If you chose to "fall away" after salvation,there was no passing go or collecting the two hundred dollars.You had to start all over again. I look back now and understand why I was constantly confused,along with the feelings of guilt and shame.
All my sibling attend church. One is a missionary and one is a preacher. About four years ago, I stumbled across an atheism site. This was start of a long slide away from the beliefs that I was raised with.I read everything that I could find about the "other side" Christianity.
I didn't know how to break my new found beliefs to my family.One day I was visiting my mom,and as usual,she started bringing up those church "thingies". Before she got to going real good, I blurted out, "I don't believe that donkeys can talk. "Now,that doesn't sound like much,but it was my way of finally telling her that I did not think the bible was inerrant and true.I said,"Maybe I would feel different if it was a parrot, but a donkey....no way"! Mom has a way of scrunching her face and giving me one of those sad disappointing looks,but I stood my ground.This was a long time coming, and I wasn't going to back down.
I knew the donkey story wouldn't to detrimental enough to upset my preacher brother, so I laid the Parousia problem on him and listed all the scripture that pointed to a first century return of Jesus. Wow, that was NOT what he wanted to hear. I had my notes down right and knew just what to say. It is so neat to get a knowledge of the bible. You know what I mean, it's the OTHER version, not the one that was crammed down my throat since birth. I also asked my brother how he understands prayer. He said that God either answered with a yes, no, or maybe....Bingo! I knew that was coming. I told him that I would get the exact same results if I prayed to a rock. Do I need to describe his expression when I said that?
I love my knew found freedom. I don't label myself as an atheist. I just consider myself a regular old "garden variety" heathen. I am now the "prodigal son", and the family is waiting for me to return. There is only one problem, how can I return after reading what I have read and learning what I have learned?
I don't envy anyone that finds their self in my position. My advice is to just be patient. Don't be cocky and don't expect them to understand your new found information. I remember how "on fire for Jesus" that I was at one time. I will never ever allow anyone or any group try and tell me what to believe. I am capable enough to search for my own answers.
And they all said,"AMEN"!
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