It's difficult to explain my lost “faith in God,” I was brought up in a family of teachers, farmers and construction workers. My grandfather was a Baptist minister who had built a church on his own family's land. He had been preaching there since he was in his early thirties. My grandparents raised their family, including my mother, with solid Christian beliefs in a setting I would consider to be about equal to “Little House on the Prairie.” The children worked in the fields as soon as they could walk, did chores before the sun came up and they grew everything they ate. My father grew up no more than ten miles away in a similar setting although his father was an abusive alcoholic and died in a bar fight before I was born.
Both my parents became school teachers and my father also worked as an iron worker and carpenter throughout my childhood. We attended church at my mothers demand except for my father. When I asked my mother why my father did not attend I would be scolded and at times whipped for asking. As I grew into my teenage years I became more and more uncomfortable with listening and talking about God and the bible. To me the stories seemed made up to try to teach a point using extreme examples and metaphors similar to the children’s books I grew up with. My mother continued to make me go to bible school and church until I was sixteen. By that age I had involved myself in enough sports, school events and started working that she left me alone about it. We still went to my but I still never felt comfortable. It was like going to a black tie affair wearing cut off shorts and flip flops. I could feel the stares and hear whispers, as if everyone was judging me the entire time I was there.
While I was in college I fell in love and moved in with a girl who was studying to get her masters in psychology. That did not go over well with my mother, and that distanced me from the rest of my family. During this time my grandfathers church members basically kicked my grandfather out of his own church. The one he built and had taught at for more than thirty years. He resisted the more modern ideas that had surfaced in Christianity over the years and believed in the fundamental teachings of the Lord. After he had retired from being a millwright, leading his flock in that church was his and my grandmothers’ way of life. A year after they were exiled from the church my grandmother fell ill with a brain tumor. I visited her in the hospital and she was in so much pain it killed me to see her. She died within a month and my mother asked the church to have her visitation at the church and they said it would not be in their best interest. A year later my grandfather fell ill with the same brain cancer and died. This time my mother did not ask the church for service. Apparently this time it was not even in any one of the members best interest to pay respects to my grandfather at the funeral home or at the burial.
This was my breaking point. I started studying the bible, something that I had never really done past the teachings of bible school and Sunday school. I started finding contradictions, unanswered questions, and things that just made no sense to me. I would talk to ministers at the local churches to try to answer these questions that I had and none could give me a straight forward answer. I soon learned that for a Christian the answer to everything is either “it was the Lords work” or “the Devils work” depending on the situation. I also found that when asked about different scriptures in the bible they twist and bend the context and meaning until the outcome suits their needs. I also wondered where the book of "Jesus" was located in the bible. Why did Jesus himself not write any of the bible? I was told that he was born poor and was not taught to write, by one minister. I was told by another that Jesus was sent to teach by example and by word of mouth. So in other words he could turn water into wine but could not write. And only decades later, after the death of Jesus, did God think to have someone write something down about his life. At this point I just gave up. My faith was gone and I enjoy my life not feeling like I am constantly being judged by a hateful god. I follow the theories of creation and keep myself apprised on progress of new discoveries that only reinforce my choice not to believe in God. I see now the cruelty and dark intent of organized religions, and how they are used to control and numb the minds of people. Religions of the past oppressed people to keep tyrants in power and haven’t changed much. The profits of the religion machine keep rolling in as they brainwash more people everyday, by taking advantage of weakness and fear. I am a born again human and my eyes are open!
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