7/10/2011 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Jesse ~
I grew up in what I would consider a predominately catholic town with my mother, brother, and two sisters. None of us were religious, but we did go to church for recreational reasons; or as my brother believed, so my mother could get us off her back. My mother was the kind of person that was deeply religious, but didn’t believe in practicing her beliefs. For that reason, she never forced us to go to church, just encouraged us too. I pretty much had the choice, so I stopped attending church in my early teens.
It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s, that Christianity found its way back in my life. After years of abusing drugs and alcohol, I became tired. I really wanted to change my life. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere in life, and worse of all, I felt like I was doing god wrong. I simply needed a change, and Jesus was the only answer. But I had a problem, I had no idea where to start. I didn’t want to fall prey to the wrong church, so, Instead of seeking out a church like most, I decided to just wait for god.
Funny thing, the Trinity Station is what turned out to be my first adult experience with the bible-god. One day, I was watching Jan Crouch running around on TV with her big O pink hair ( I could slap her every time she says, "Jesus just blew my socks off."), and a message came on that said, "God has a message for you." It went on about how Jesus died for me, and how I should say the sinners prayer blah blah blah. Unfortunately, it was enough, so I got down on my knees and cried out to god.
A couple days later, I was attending a trinity church down the street with the finest prosperity preacher you could find. It was great, you know, all the dancing and money god was going to give me. I was told that all I had to do was give some money, and god would give it back tenfold ( On the contrary, I knew the church was a sham.) I ended up trying quite a few churches before I found the right one (no thanks to god.) I finally found it when I contacted my old buddy; he taught bible study at a Pentecostal-Apostolic Oneness Church. I told him I was having a hard time finding a church, and he requested that I attend service that night with him; I happily obliged.
Walking in his church, I found that all the lights were off, and everyone was on their knees praying to god (old women, kids, everyone). To be honest, I thought it was weird, especially when someone spoke in tongues. Once the lights came on, everyone started singing, clapping, running, hopping, rolling; I was scared. Finally, at the end of the night, the preacher came up and preached like I never heard before. That night, I found myself crying for god at the pews, and I promised to quit smoking, drinking, and drugs. Shortly after, I was baptized in Jesus name, and quickly accepted the church’s views; out went my TV, short-sleeves, music, etc,I went all out.
I started to attend church twice Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I also prayed everyday, fasted two days a week (No water or food.), and had bible study twice a week. My hunger for god’s word was enormous, before the first year, I read the bible quite a few times; and studied many of the books in the NT & OT separately. I really felt that I found the right church, and that god was really working in my life. I eventually had my mother, brother; sister, cousin; her husband, their four kids; aunt, and a couple friends going to church with me. I guess I was very persuasive. I felt I was really in god’s will, and nothing could stop me.
As I continued in my studies, I recognized that I was expected to take god on faith. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it before, but, I had a real problem with that; even though I had accepted Jesus, and done all I did. I felt that to expect me to take anything on faith, was stupid. And anyway, how can I possibly have feelings for something I haven’t seen. I was under the impression that god worked off of evidence, like the bible; or revealing himself through a personal appearance. To me, faith was unacceptable! For that reason, I needed to see god personally. So, I got the bright idea that if I sought god, he would show himself to me. I started out by asking god (in prayer) to show himself. I prayed so hard and so long sometimes,that I would wake up on my knees; and I developed calluses. I continued the praying for almost a year, but fortunately, my prayers were never answered.
I had a bad feeling that my inability to believe by faith, was interfering. Fearing that, I tried so hard to just accept it, I even put my self in situations to force myself. I would give my check away and depend on god to get me through. I would have someone drop me off miles from home and trust god to get me back. I would fast for days, and trust god to get be through work. I went so extreme, I would just give up my body to flapping around on a the ground for hours, while I slobbered all over myself. I tried everything I could think of doing to force myself to believe I had faith, but I just couldn't. I was on the verge of falling apart because of it!! I needed god to respond soon or I was going freak out!! I needed to see or at least hear him soon!!
In my situation, the church was having their yearly "week of fasting and prayer." After seven days of fasting, they would wash feet, then have communion. I felt it was a perfect opportunity to find god. I starved my self for eight days believing god would finally respond. At the eight day, I was weak, starving, and needed god more than ever. I got down on my knee and washed feet, and prayed in the hopes that god would show himself (I could've washed those feet with my tears.) I didn’t hear, see, or feel god that day; I was furious. I felt completely rejected by god, and it hurt really bad; I cried for days. I cried at church, after church; in my car, at home; at work, I cried out so hard that my tears just dried up; so I would cry without tear. My search to find god fell flat on its face. What’s worse, now, every time I prayed I felt empty, I felt like I was praying to air. My life became full of guilt and fear because of that.
The only thing keeping me in the church was god’s word, because I believed it was infallible. After another year of this, something just changed in me. I realized that I didn’t come to this god so I can chase around some invisible spirit, I came to find god damn it. To see and speak to him. I wasn’t asking for much, I just want to see him. I started to think, "Does god really prefer a gullible brain washed idiot, that believes by faith?" I was starting to get angry, I started to tell god off in my prayers, storm out of church after service, ignore my pastor, and I stopped fasting.
Because of this, I was starting to notice the hypocrisy in the church. What pissed me off the most, was that my pastor had a really nice cars, a new home, and a airplane; while my family and myself were struggling. It became quite clear to me that this church and every other one I have been to is greedy. People are dying of starvation, but my pastor has a $200,000 car. Also, he spent 2 million dollars on the land next door. These people don’t care that people are dying of starvation. They are selfish, greedy, hypocrites.
My last straw was when I read "Jesus Interrupted" by Bart D. Herman. I had no idea that the bible had so many issues; I was devastated, but only because I went through so much for nothing.
I walked away from the bible-god because as far as a god goes "faith" is insulting, and his word was fallible. After I left, I studied the bible for years because I feared I was wrong. However, my research only confirmed that I was right. The bible is an immoral, error filled, insult. It doesn’t deserve any more respect than a piece of corn in my poop! Now that I am free from religion, I am honestly happier. I think the reason I started down the religion road in the first place, was because I was indoctrinated as a child. Once I was having a tough time in life, my indoctrinations showed its ugly face. It’s a shame that I had to go through Christianity to recognize that I always had the ability to change my own life. Today, I am a happy, guilt free Atheist!!!
I like to thank Ex-C for allowing me to post this, and to everyone that took the time to read it. I’m super happy that I found a site that has people like me. Just recently, I had a dream of Jesus coming to me, and it really pissed me off. Have any of you ever had that happen, and how do you feel about it?
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