1/24/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Luke ~
Before I get too far ahead, or, get started at all... If you have not watched the YouTube series by username "Evid3nc3" in a playlist titled "Why I am no longer a Christian", than I strongly recommend giving it a look.
It was because of this man's detailed journey from the faith I was able to begin to realize when I started mine, and piece together just how I went from "on fire" for God, to an agnostic, to an atheist over the course of... 5 years? Maybe.
Just like Evid3nc3, it was while I was while I was living by Christian faith that my transformation was occurring. I was born into a church setting. I was baptized in water, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I was a tounge-talking servant of the most high God. I would worship God at the beginning of every church service, listened carefully during sermons, study the Bible when I could, (despite my A.D.D.) and probably did everything else you could imagine that the typical Christian strived for. It was during all of this, when I was 15 and 16, I slowly and unconsciously came to the conclusion that God is up there somewhere but would not cause any physical effect on this realm, nor would he intervene in it's affairs. (Deism?) I know it was a slow process of succumbing to this believe because if this concept was presented to me in some way, I would have dismissed it.
It went on like this for an unrecognizable span of time. Perhaps a few months, it was, before I realized that it was just simply not doing me good. I started exploring outside of the boundaries Christianity set for me. Which is a whole story in itself. Long story, short: I started associating with kids at school I otherwise would not have, participated in conversations I otherwise would have avoided, amongst other things. I still believed in a loving God. I knew I wasn't making the right choices in His eyes. But I just did not let the guilt stop me from just being a teen.
This guilt eventually subsided altogether, and at 17 I had succumbed to this realization: If this God was not a God who would stick his hands in the physical realm, nor reveal himself in anyway that could be perceived by my senses... than it was possible that this God could not exist. Only recently, yesterday actually, did I realize that there was no specific point in time did I turn from Christianity, unlike what I stated in my previous posts to this site. It would be more accurate to state that there were times that I made decisions I would not have made if my faith were in the same state as it was a few years prior. And that I had finally noticed how I had changed when I was contemplating these choices that I would have immediately dismissed.
At 18, I finally admitted it to myself out loud, "I am an agnostic." Having already been so far away from the faith, I did not expect lightning or earthquakes, but I felt better. I didn't realize it at the time but I had already been an agnostic for about a year.
Oh, my God... I am freaking atheist. What am I gonna do? A few months ago, I discovered this fantastic website. I am a big fan of Magic: The Gathering, a trading card game. I would research the interwebs occasionally to read stories of people who went out of hand with this game, spending atrocious amounts of money on it. So I would search in my search bar "quitting Magic: the Gathering." I had a streak where it was a fascinating concept to me, people being addicted to the game, spending a lot of money, quitting and relapsing.
I do not remember why or where I got the idea but I got curious... I wanted to know if it was possible, if anyone else had fathomed it... I searched "quitting Christianity" and I discovered this website. Over a few weeks I read many of the fantastic articles all you guys and gals have written. I started spending plenty of time on here. I produced my first admittedly overly-frivolous article. In a comment from user name TimWolf he directed me to watch the video series by Evid3nc3.
It was after I posted it did I become hesitant concerning this direction I was going with myself. I am the only one I know in my family that is not believing in God. This will most certainly have a negative impact if they found out. Could this have consequences outside of home? Could I simply be wrong?
I slowed down my exploration into this unknown territory. I now realize I was wanting to know more about the atheists way of thinking but not too much to completely erase the little belief I held onto. When I realized this, I knew it was childish, I needed to pick a side. So, despite that I was hesitant, I watched the series by Evid3nc3.
I learned what I imagine many of those who contribute to this site already know. What Judas did with his bribery money and how he died soon after he betrayed Jesus is recorded in Matthew and in Acts.
Matthew 27:5 (NIV): Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
Whereas, Judas in Acts...
Acts 1:18: Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.
I remember it was it was 3 A.M. my eyes were closed, and I had one ear bud in my ear attached to my iPhone that was laying on my bed while I was resting on my side. My eyes jolted open, my heart was pounding, I started sweating, adrenaline rushing. (Much like how Evid3nc3 explained his reaction was). I rewinded the video and researched the scriptures. Never, could I have fathomed that there was a contradiction amongst the content of the most Holy of all things. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Any of my remaining belief was extinguished in that instant. All respect due to those who consider themselves an agnostic, I knew was no longer an agnostic. I knew it in that instant as much as I know it now.
I am an atheist.
I read a study once that most people DO have dreams, but those who claim that they don't, actually do but tend to forget them quickly. I have found myself usually not remembering dreams, but still sometimes I find myself being able to piece together bits of a dream from the night before. That next morning after I watched that video... It was earlier this morning at the time I write this... I woke up, having no recollection of dreams (thankfully), but my heart was pounding and cold sweat was all over face. The very first thing on my mind was this.
Oh, my God... I am freaking atheist. What am I gonna do?
It was weird, it still kinda is. It's nice to not be on the fence anymore. As a young man, that position is particularly uncomfortable.
But I will have to eventually tell my family about this though... I've told a few coworkers and that was smooth. But I doubt telling those closer to me will be as. I went through a hurricane to get here, and right now, I feel as though I am in the calm eye of the storm, I can only be in the eye of the storm for so long.
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