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Time of Change

By Ben ~

I've always been an outcast in my church, for a number of reasons, I was "saved" at age 8, I was very intellectual, which my basic knowledge and curiosity, and limited experience with science came to this conclusion of there is a "God" which explains why "God" made the sky and water blue, and many other things an imaginative mind like mine could ponder. The two most important things in my life that made me an outcast of the church was that 1) I was a skeptic and 2) my mother was a single parent.

Time of ChangeImage by rezlab via Flickr
My mother, a very liberal Southern Baptist among Southern Baptists, told me that I had a "sky daddy" which brought up more issues with my friends in elementary school. For example a friend whom I'll call Joe:

Joe: Well do you have a daddy?

Me: Yes and no?

Joe: What do you mean?

Me: (Thinking) mmm..

Joe: Well?

Me: *Starts walking back and forth then stops* Yes I do!

Joe: What's his name

Me: God!

Joe: Huh?

This went on until 4th grade when religion started to seep into the rest of class I went into school with, by this time I started saying things like, "Yes, but he passed away" and "Well, he divorced my mom" the latter no one was really buying since my mom was a volunteer at the school. What really broke my heart was the fact that even though the Church members parents where being nice to me and helping my mom out with items like food, and clothing for me, they were talking behind her back and putting her down. Sometimes the older members of the church told her upfront "we're not doing this for you but your kid", that irritated me even more. These comments made me resentful to some of the members of the church, whom some have passed away and some I refuse to speak to even now.

My skepticism has been with me since I was 5, I've done my best to keep it from my mom, but it seeps out when I get stressed, or when I'm worried about a payment, at this same time my mother got married, to a very self-centered "christian" at the same time he was an idiot, and controlling, as I was required to listen nothing to "christian music" on Sundays, must attend both services, and be involved in the high school youth group. Also I was in high school which was no help in my life there. These factors help push me toward my "atheism" (lack of a better term).

In my mother's church, just like high school, there were "cliques", most large churches has them, it runs church politics, if you can fit in with the one's closes to either the head deacon or the pastor, you can practically get away with "murder". My high school youth group, had this problem, well, to a point, the older grades and the younger grades had "cliques", I was alone, the "outcast". Unless it was a bible trivia game, I rocked at those.

While I was blind to see this, I wanted to do so much in the church, I help start classes, start an instrumental music ministry with the music pastor (who had a master's in music) and helped to make a teen choir. Something was bugging me, something just didn't felt right.

On my final year in the youth group, and the point where my mother's church drops the ball on all it's college age students, I made a new friend, another "outcast", this friend of mine was resentful to "God" and intellectually better than me, which felt a relief to me, since he also rocked at bible trivia. One Sunday as we talked before Sunday school, I explained to him, I was a skeptic, which shocked him. He asked me how I did so much in the church and still not fully believed? I explained to him, I was just "phoning it in". Not really caring about it, while this talk was going on, he explained to me about his resentment towards "God" and then his knowledge of the old testament. My skepticism felt relieved, I felt better. I decided that I didn't believe in "god" or anything religious.

Fast forward to college, I've officially left the church, I feel better, like I belong, no longer an "outcast". My mother isn't happy with my decision but she's ok with it as long as I visit her church.

I know this story doesn't seem to fit in and it seems all over the place, but as with life,I realized that it completed my de-conversion.