Allow me to first familiarize whoever may read this with who I am. Who I am is a natural born thinker. I have thought about things all my life, a question asker. For twenty-one years now this is who I have been and I cannot foresee this ever being halted.
As a child I was not influenced by anyone spiritually, however, I was allowed to process and contemplate things on my own. As a child this was a daunting task and I never strayed too far away from the cookie-cutter mold of an American boy's Heaven and Hell, Good and Bad, God and the Devil type thoughts.
Entering high school, my thoughts began to change and I labeled myself as an atheist -- reflecting back, I am sure I had no idea what that really meant, as I still sought knowledge about spiritual life. I think I just wanted to escape my peers' "high school Christian" reality.
My senior year of high school a man sat me down and precisely laid out the Christian Gospel, Campus Crusade style. He bought me a Bible and in a couple of weeks I proclaimed myself as a born-again Christian. Nothing dramatically changed in my life besides the fact that I acknowledged there was a God, and I started to pray.
It wasn't until I went to college did I pursue more of my Christian faith. I joined an organization, Campus Crusade. There I drew immediate attention, I soon started meeting with the director at my college of CC on a weekly basis. Over the course of a year and a half I was put in charge of many things, I went on many trips, and became a spiritual leader. I even once was called the golden-child of Cru. Can you imagine, a self-proclaimed atheist, a now Christian leader shaping a college campus leading others to a life that he had just so recently adopted.
My junior year of college I was hired by CC as part-time field staff aka a minister, meaning I now received a steady paycheck to do what I had already been doing - this was a definitely a plus! I devoted myself even more to this life, instead of working twenty hours a week, i put in sixty to eighty. I was "saving" lives, leading students, and of course raking in huge amounts of limelight. I even started receiving national recognition from our organization. I knew I was onto something.
It was like living with two different people in me. One was my Christian side, and the other my evolution. However, something came knocking at my brain's door. It wasn't my atheistic past which I had prepared myself to defeat, it was an evolutionary step in my spiritual self. One that no matter how hard I would try to fight I would eventually have to take. But I did fight, and I fought hard to maintain my role and status that I hard worked so hard to achieve.
I had to move back home, away from school, and more importantly away from this community that I had surrounded myself with. I had to rebuild myself. It was hard and I am still in the process of it all, but wow, am I so much happier. I have my own beliefs and they are great!
To call myself an ex-christian is a terrible way to label myself, because although yes, I do not have a strict and firm Christian belief anymore, I still have cores and tenants of it. I believe in truth, and Christianity has a lot of truths in it, you just have filter through it to find it. My beliefs are an evolution of my previous Christian ones, so to call them ex-christian beliefs would be mislabeling them. I cannot strip away my beliefs one from another because they are all one. Its like trying to separate me as a twenty-one year old and me as a seventeen year old. They may be different, but I cannot strip away who I am now from that seventeen year old, because who I was as a seventeen year old has influenced who I am now as a twenty-one year old.
I guess I am saying I loved my time in the Christian world, but I just could not stay in it, the universe, my heart, and my brain had other plans.
Disclaimer: Campus Crusade is a great organization and I do love the people involved. Would I do things differently now looking back, of course I would. But keep in mind CC and Christianity is a great place to cultivate Spirituality.
Filed Under: Testimonials