I have been reading this website for a while and thought I'd FINALLY post my experience.:)
My entire family growing up, and presently, was evangelical Christian. This included working with missionaries in Africa, Asia, and locally. My entire life, I grew up with stories and fearful speeches from family about spiritual warfare, the plots of Satan, and the legions of demons awaiting every turn to entice us off the true path.
A great case in point was when I was around 13, I was reading a Stephen King book and my mother asserted that demonic influence was entering our household through this book, even going as far as to say that she saw a shadowy figure walk by in the house. Of course, the Stephen King books mysteriously disappeared.
Due to such beliefs, I grew up terrified in the dark as a small child, thinking there were demonic entities, etc.
My parents took their mandate to educate their children with religion seriously, and even if I missed church, I was expected to read the bible for at least the same amount of time, etc.
However, in my teens I really began to question everything, not really understanding much of the theology or experiencing the budding of a new awareness. Part of my personality is very introspective and critical, which led to me learning philosophy and later science to a high degree.
It slowly dawned on me that many claims such as below were simply either specious at best OR clearly not true:
1) "Nobody ever said what Jesus said" (Moral and philosophic ideas such as love your neighbor, etc).
-Most major religions say the same things, and many far before Jesus, such as the Buddha.
2) "Nobody ever did what Jesus did" (Miracles, psychic phenomenon, etc).
-Again, many cultures have stories replete with miracle workers, sages, psychics, etc.
3) "The Bible is the inerrant word of God."
4) "The Earth is 6,000 years old."
-Science does not support this unless a Christian tries to claim "Catastrophism," i.e. sudden violent changes in the Earth that create the appearance of long periods of time (Try the "Grand Canyon was created by Noah's Flood, not by aeons of water erosion).
5) "Satan and demons are at war with mankind and God."
Furthermore, I've always been an open person, and welcomed friends of every stripe, religion, sexuality, background. Thus, I stopped being able to believe in hell for non-believers, etc.
From 15-30 (now), I have spent the time researching other religions as well as other subjects. IT has been incredibly liberating to free my mind from the constructs of one cultures limited views.
However, I still encounter problems from my Christian family. One, they utterly despise my non-Christian adventures and readings. One example of this is that I recently went to India to continue my studies of yoga and meditation. And of course, I was derided by my family for entering a sphere of demonic influence. There is no support from them.
Furthermore, 3 years ago I was in a serious relationship which resulted in a beautiful son, who is now 28 months old. His mother has been moving progressively towards hardcore fundamentalism, including only wanting to be with a preacher of the word, someone who is "sold out to the Lord."
We have tried to work things out many many times, for the simple facts that we do have a lot going for us AND a small child. But, she has gone back and forth with me, quite literally 50 times, due to me not being "saved." It has been quite difficult to not be able to have a family and be a family due to the simple fact that her and her family have become so religious that they can't work our a relationship on any other basis:(.
It is very difficult to realize, "I can't be with the mother of my child because she doesn't accept our difference in belief."
I'm sure there are others on here that can relate to this, especially those in an "unequally yoked" relationship. For the open minded, liberal religious person, or agnostic/atheist, it makes little difference what one's personal beliefs are as long as their actions are good and the relationship is great.
For the serious fundamentalist, their beliefs define everything, and also divide them from us.
Thank you for reading, whoever you are:) Although in a sea of blind faith it is difficult to stay resolute, our freedom of mind and real pursuit of truth is more important.
Filed Under: Testimonials