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From Darkness to Light

by LizAnn ~

Religion, specifically Christianity, was where I turned to for answers and stayed there for many years. I wanted purpose in my life. I wanted a way to stifle the constant fear of the unknown inside of me. I wanted answers. I wanted peace in the midst of the nagging difficulties of daily living. Christianity was simple when it was presented to me; admit that I was a lost sinner, accept free salvation, do what God wanted and things would basically go well. The best news was that Heaven was waiting for me upon death if I could keep my faith. So I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and began a new life.

From darkness to light...

From darkness to light...
by Antariksh Jain via Flickr

Things did get better for me over time, as I made an effort to stop bad behavior and live with a new focus. I was a faithful church goer and did not question doctrine. I learned it. Those over me had gotten their degree from an accepted theology school and said they were “called into the ministry. ” Since I felt my life was a mess and theirs looked good from where I was sitting, I was okay with them being in charge and telling me what the “truth” was. It was comfortable. My life did get much better as I applied Christian principles to it. Love and forgiveness are powerful! One day the pastor said if he had an award for most improved, it would've went to me.

About 15 years into my walk, some events occurred in my life that threw me into a tailspin. It was like the issues that I had struggled with for years and kept a lid on, popped off. Fear that I had blasphemed the holy spirit gripped me and sent me to the edge of sanity. I applied every spiritual principle I knew. I sought out deliverance. I prayed spiritual warfare. I prayed Bible verses. I cried out to God. Since questioning was not encouraged where I was attending church, and I was supposed to be at a place in my life where I was helping other people, I surfed the Internet for answers. Were there any people out there with the same questions that I had? Did they find answers? I stayed within my familiar Christian belief and found a particular internet ministry where I gobbled up lots of information on the New World Order, the fallen angel “alien” agenda, earths impending doom and Gods imminent judgment on the wicked, including the fallen angels that are running things behind the scenes. This was all new information for me and it seemed to explain things too. It gave me a new focus. So I left organized religion and joined this group. It had a draw; an appeal. It gave me answers for my fears and put a face to the enemy. There was a nagging gut feeling that there was something wrong and I could never fully believe that I was completely on the right track, but this was the place that gave me answers no one else gave and I didn't know where else to go. I had alienated everyone I knew with my new beliefs. Besides that, I liked thinking I was one of the “elect.” I loved being right and knowing what was wrong with the rest of the world. There is something to be said for being in a group where people consistently reinforce teachings and doctrine. And since most leaders don't operate in love, there is sadly, only witchcraft and deceit, cleverly disguised under a thin veil of love and acceptance. The leaders can be willful or non-willful participants in this deception. Even though I was angry, I never wanted to start hating anyone.

The common themes in the different churches I had been in over the years began to be more apparent in this group as time went on. This group was the one with “the truth” and the “others” were deceived. When anyone would question, the leader would hurl put downs their way like a strategically thrown knife and others joined in after that cue. Even after they left the group, whatever legitimate question or concern this certain person had, it (and the person) were discussed and dissected. It was hate manifesting and there was no way around that. So through much inner turmoil, I left, and yes, at last it happened to me too; a parting gift of venom was spewed my way.

I began to study on my own. For the first time in many years I was free from a teacher or leader. Even though I felt some apprehension at first, a real sense of freedom and excitement was there too; like I was on the cusp of something really wonderful.

Since I always had a deep desire to please God, I wanted to know what he required of me. I went searching for him. I decided to read the Bible, not just selected portions. The Torah I was told was Gods instructions on how people are to live, so I started there. King David was a man after God's own heart and loved the Law. So, I wrote down the laws as I found them. The more I went on, the more insane it all looked to me. There were so many laws and statutes. Some I could deal with, but most I could not! Parents were to stone rebellious children. (Deut 21:18-21) Stoning was encouraged. What kind of god wants one human to destroy another? You have to get pretty close to stone people. Today when people do things like that or even see them happen, they are scarred for life, but it was okay in the Bible. Young women who were raped were forced to marry their rapist.(Deut. 22:28) Women caught in adultery, stoned! There were lots of instructions on how to slaughter innocent animals, spread their blood and burn their fat. One event involved thousands of animals slaughtered one after the other. What kind of a God was this? It sounded more like a satanic ritual. How can killing something atone for your sins? Isn't that doing more sin? I thought that my God was a God of love, but this was not loving. This was about destroying. This was about blind obedience to a tyrant who promised blessings for obedience, and curses for disobedience to the many laws and regulations. That was where I stopped my study on the Law. I had heard it said many times that that the OT was done away with because of Jesus sacrifice, but the Bible says that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. And it says that the law and the commandments stand too.

Here is a very brief summary of what I found in the rest of my Bible studies. I highly encourage people to do their own research! Like me, you have a brain, so use it. In Genesis 1, instead of God (Yahweh) creating us, I found the word Elohim (angels) in the original Hebrew. I thought it was a translation error or something put in there on purpose to throw us off, so I pulled out my concordance and found that Genesis is full of the record of Elohim doing things. The plural word Elohim was consistently translated as God. This threw everything off for me, because apparently from the book that I took my truth from, I was created not by God, but by Elohim, in their image! and they were the ones communicating to people. It was Elohim that spoke to Moses and gave him the commandments. Jesus talked about the Heavenly Father, but didn't use any of the many names of gods which are in the OT in various places.

Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah and Jeremiah were against animal sacrifice, yet Moses and other priests were for it. But they all supposedly served the same god and all spoke for him.

Now here is where it gets difficult. And don't think for a moment that all this Bible study made me happy. Jeremiah 7:22 tells us that it wasn't God who spoke to the people about sacrifices and burnt offerings. Both Isaiah (55:7-8) and John the Baptist taught a gospel of repentance, not sacrifice. Isaiah even said there was pardon for sin through repentance! What!? But what about Jesus “sacrifice?” This was the biggest hurdle for me because I truly believed that Jesus was a substitution for me and I based my faith on that. I based my peace on that. My purpose. My eternity. He was my entrance to heaven. I ended my prayers in his name because that is the only way that God would hear them. Isaiah 53 we are told is talking about Jesus who was a sacrifice, but you can read the original Isaiah scroll (translated) on line for yourself. The KJV Isaiah 53 is just a bit different than the original which was found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Study the verb tenses (past vs. future) and the flow of the chapters before Isaiah 53 to figure out who was being talked about as the “servant”.

So my belief system came crashing down. It was like someone had pulled the rug out from under me. The battle was raging. I have heard so many twists people come up with to explain away the Bible contradictions, yet they never address them. All that study left me with was some more questions - Who did I think I knew, who was I trusting my soul with, and what was I basing my belief on?

I began to take the time to sit by myself and cry out for truth. Sometimes in the quiet of my heart and sometimes outside where no one could hear me. I mean, I really cried out to whoever was there. I knew I had been talking to someone all those years and had gotten answers and direction. There was so much confusion over all that too as I didn't know who my God was anymore, but that didn't stop me. Who whispered those soft, encouraging words into my heart at times? Who had I cried many tears to through the years and had given me healing in return? I had thought it was the God of the Bible that was guiding me and loving me, but apparently not.

I read so many books and papers over this period of time; books that were forbidden to me before. I found out there was a history before the Bible! I found people had spent their lives seeking truth and wrote their experiences down for those coming after them. I trusted my own discernment. I know the difference between right and wrong; between good and evil. We can all choose our behavior.

My research took me on a journey; a fascinating and interesting process of my eyes being opened to things I never saw before. I refused to believe anything just because it gave me a sense of peace or made me momentarily happy. I pressed on and continue to do so. I don't have all the answers, but am content in my journey. I am at peace. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am loved!

The Bible does hold certain truths, but now it is just another book in my bookshelf. I am content with the fact that my Christian faith was just a part of my journey here on Earth. Regret is non-productive. And besides, if I didn't go through those experiences, would I still be here at this place in my life where I am right now?

I do not recommend for any Christians to attempt to come out of Christianity unless they are ready to have their world turned upside down and see just how completely backwards and upside down things are presented to us. Be ready for a battle. Because this is your own journey, don't expect others to understand. Just love them. Work through the anger instead of lashing out and hurting those who are not seeking or at the same place that you are. It gets exhausting sometimes, but there is a jubilant sense of liberation never before experienced that follows the prison break.

You need to trust yourself. Trust that you are strong and can seek and go forward with what is already inside you; what has been put inside of you; what has always been there. Don't wait for someone to come and rescue you or to come and tell you the truth. Those offering the truth always seem to have an ulterior motive. It costs you something; your devotion, good senses and more commonly your hard earned money. If someone whose heart is right and is fixed on LOVE has found answers that might help you their fellow man, they would not sell those answers! Be aware of profiteers. Be aware of those who promote fear and hopelessness.

Mankind for thousand of years has continually been manipulated by leaders in all worldly systems, including and especially religion. The result has always been destruction and slavery. You know the difference between good and evil. Go looking for answers. Don't stop until you find them. No one can tell you what “the truth” is, and even if one could, why would you want to believe them!?