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Don't lose hope (the truth really will set you free)

by Jim V  

If you're wondering if you will ever break free of the fearful, irrational thinking of xianity, don't lose hope. I'm from the slow class. After twenty-five painful years of effort I was almost suddenly able to break free.

Jesus peopleImage by nostalgic_fordisaster via Flickr

My father was a faith-healing minister who prophesied that god was going to make me into an evangelistic minister (just like him...imagine!), and my mind seemed to be indelibly marked with his various proclamations of fear. Funny thing was, dad turned out to be just as full of contradictions as his magic book. One notable contradiction was that faith-healing dad was also a hypochondriac (which resulted in a lot of sad self-absorbed praying before the holy throne). Our family did the whole extreme-xian thing, from the 60's Jesus People movement, charismatic experience, selling everything to prepare for the rapture, yelling at public school teachers that taught science, and traveling from town to town with a 8'x4' 'Jesus is coming soon!' sign with dad behind the bullhorn. As a little boy I never questioned so many other contradictions such as how I could have a future career as a minister when I was "surely" going to be raptured before I even had time to "worry" about getting the worldly education that would finally set me on that long path toward freedom. I did try to take the mantle up of a gentler and more enlightened form of belief for awhile, leading many a bible study while vacillating much on the hard-core issues. It wasn't until I read the bible cover-to-cover in a vow to take a firmer stand on theology that my path toward unbelief was confirmed, and even then it took another decade for me to reach the place of settled resolve that I now write about.

Brainwashing runs deep, and fear makes the cleansing process difficult.

Dad's gone now, and he was predicting the imminent coming of the apocalypse until the day he died. I'm a highly educated person of responsibility and yet despite 25 years of effort it took the passing of my father in 2008 for me to finally break free.To this day I'm the only one in my extended family of ministers, missionaries and other fundamental xians who is openly replacing faith and fear with reason.

If you're reading this and can still relate, don't lose hope! Just keep questioning and learning, because the truth really will set you free.