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Out of the Extreme

By Rachael ~

One of my earliest memories is me, my sister and my parents sitting around the dinner table, my Dad asking me to explain what the hypostatic union was. It was, of course, the theological term used to describe how Jesus is both God and man at once.

My dad runs a very large and prolific Christian Apologetics site. I no longer live at home, but this organization is the sole income of the rest of my family. My father's been on TV, debated Dan Barker, and is pretty much the personification of rationality in Christianity.

I was taught all the arguments of atheists and evolutionists and taught their flaws and how to rebuff them; I was taught how to think logically and critically, how to explain away every perceived problem in the Bible. By the time I was seventeen I'd memorized well over a thousand verses.

I never 'felt' God, though. While I was pretty brainwashed into believing that he did, MUST exist, I never emotionally connected with him or felt his presence.

After I moved out I got engaged and had sex with my fiance. I was overwhelmed with incredible feelings of guilt and shame, despite the fact that mentally I thought it was okay. What was wrong with sex if I was to marry the guy? Why did the Bible decry it so if it harmed no one, was done rationally and carefully of my own choice, and depended only on a tiny little legal slip to become moral?

Why did morality depend on the signing of a document?

That was the first part. The second was that, away from home, I began to see how judgmental and seclusive Christians really were. Christians were a club, and nonChristians were outside of that club. Only Christians were given real respect and trust, and I began to despise that. And while I know it is unfair to judge a religion based on the people within it, the trend here seemed too widespread and ingrained to be a product of *only* the personal egos of the participants.

And lastly, I could not resolve the differences between the Old Testament god and the New Testament god. They seemed to follow different rules of morality - punishments for one action would come and go. Laws seemed strict, arbitrary, the kind produced by flawed tribes instead of an all-knowing, absolute being.

I came to the conclusion that the Bible, while of certain historical merit, particularly in some books, was likely inaccurate and flawed, and I thus could not trust it.

I still believe there is some sort of absolute mind, though. Based on my studies of logic and physics, I cannot see how existence is capable without it.

So now I'm flailing, lost in the dark, having let go of something solid but untrue and searching for something true-r. Atheism cannot be the truth, but neither can any other religion I've studied.

But nevertheless, my life has been so much better since abandoning Christianity. My guilt has been shed, I no longer feel that nagging shame of not having read my Bible or gone through the routine of praying to brick walls. I feel loose. Free. And while I still have a great deal of respect for rational Christianity, I must say being free of it has never felt better.