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The Change I Can't Believe In

By JSmith ~

First, I would like to thank all of you that have contributed to this site! This site has given me 100% reassurance that I am not losing my mind. To hear the stories here are comforting, yet very disturbing. The question is how is something that is advertised to be so good, so destructive to people’s lives? My story is 19 years long and continuing to this day. I would like to give a brief on my church history and then why I walked away from it. Christians who visit this site, I can imagine, are baffled at what is being said. Looking through their inerrant tinted glasses none of this makes sense other than, “they were never really saved in the first place”. I thought that at one time also, now here I am.

The year was 1993 and my mom talked me into a Billy Graham Crusade. I remember my mom pushing me at the end to go down and accept the lord; I refused. Later that year I got myself into some trouble and ended up in jail for a weekend. At that point in my life I needed a change. I called my mom and told her I was ready to go to church with her. She was over excited to lead me to her charismatic church on Sunday morning. What happened after that has been 19 long years of change. Confusion, guilt, shame, arrogance, and my new found judgmental attitude was not the change I was looking for.

At the beginning of my journey it was just like buying a new car, fresh, clean, and exciting! I couldn’t get enough of reading the bible and going to church. The promises were out of this world! I would drive down the road and shout “Jesus loves you” to people on the sidewalk. I tithed, prayed, studied, and fellowshipped just like every new Christian does at the beginning. I felt like I was floating on a cloud! The floating started to fade after two years into studying the bible, because I realized something was wrong with this charismatic thing (tongues was faked, miracles were always something internal that no one could really verify, prophecies were everywhere and few if any ever came to pass, and everyone just kept on believing this phony stuff without ever questioning it). Great, let’s go to a reformed Calvinist church and get the “real” truth. After five years of crawling through theological mud, at three different Calvinist based churches, and condemning everyone who wasn’t a Calvinist I walked away from it. For the next ten years my family and I moved from church to church seeking out the elusive church that had the truth. Two years ago I threw my hands up in the air with two BIG giant fingers pointed to the sky. That’s right, I flipped god the bird. I have spent the last two years trying to make sense of all this. I have scoured the Internet, talked to Christian and non-Christian alike, read books on church history, the canonization of the bible, Evolution, creation… I sit here today so screwed up in my mind I can hardly function in life. “Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened” really? I sought hard, and knocked a lot, but the more I did the more I fell away from the faith realizing there was no one listening to my prayers.

One of the main reasons I walked away was Christians themselves. The examples I see from them are for the most part enough to make me throw up in my mouth. Sure, there were some decent examples, but then I see that in Atheists and other non-Christians as well (Shhh, Christians don’t realize that there are non-Christians that live moral lives and love people more than they do). My brother’s family was laid to waste by Christianity. One kid ran away, one went to jail, and the other one was forced to marry someone she didn’t want to because of a “prophecy”, and now their divorced with three kids. I am still dealing with Christian neighbors that are absolutely destroying their kids. Their kids come to me in tears so that they can live at our house instead of theirs. I was told they wished their parents would die so we could adopt them. Before you Christians say, “Oh those parents are in the wrong church”, no, they go to a local bible believing non-denominational church where everyone wears big smiles. My dad is a Christian and the most judgmental man I know. To him all homosexuals and democrats should be put to death, and the bible says so. Leadership in churches is nothing more than a power grab and mind control game. There are some decent leaders trying to do what is right, granted, but many are control freaks who only care for themselves and their doctrine. If you don’t believe me go to a church and take a stand against what they believe. Every Christian has an opinion, none of them have answers. I am sick and tired of hearing, “real miracles happen over in Africa”, “if you just ask the Holy Spirit he will lead you into all truth”, “you have a faith issue”, “you’re in sin, that’s why your prayers aren’t being answered”, and my all-time favorite: “Satan is leading you astray”. Christians have canned answers for everything. Over the years you build up this repository of answers to any skeptic’s questions. On the surface they sound good, however, if any thought is put into them you will immediately expose them for what they are, “excuses”.

The bible itself is mass confusion, thus the thousands of different denominations within Christianity. I for many years believed the bible to be the inerrant word of god, hook, line, and sinker; you could not convince me otherwise. A strange thing happened one day. I asked myself why if dinosaurs lived with man do we not find dinosaurs and man buried in the rock layers together. Surely they were all buried by the flood and killed together and therefore should be found together, civilizations, dinosaurs, dogs, cows, humans. Why? My research led me far and wide. The bottom line is the earth is not 6000 years old, and dinosaurs did not live with humans, thus the Genesis story is nothing more than that, a story. Christians are easy prey to brainwashing by the likes of the Creation Research Institute and Answers in Genesis. I was at a natural history museum last year and there was a Christian mom and dad in the dinosaur exhibit. The dad said, out loud, “Boy I am glad we didn’t let our kids in here to see all this old earth Evolution crap”. A few years back I would have been the one saying that. I looked at him and realized he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, just regurgitating what he has been told or read without ever looking into what evidence science has to offer. It is absolutely sickening to hear Christians working their pie hole out of complete ignorance. What is even more sickening is I did it for 17 years. At one time I believed the flood of Noah destroyed the world and god preserved life on the ark and all these “millions of dead things buried in rock layers around the earth” were there because of the flood. A simple study in geology and fossil order debunks that myth. A man living in a fish’s belly for three days and nights, talking donkeys and snakes, mysterious hands writing on walls, men riding chariots of fire into heaven, the sun stopping in the sky for a day and on and on it goes. All easily believed and yet absolutely no proof of any of it other than ancient texts. Yet, evidence staring them right in the face for an ancient earth and evolution, and they laugh at it calling it from Satan. It is easy to see why people would sacrifice their lives for Jim Jones, David Koresh, and the Heavens Gate crew. The most powerful people in the world are those standing behind pulpits on a Sunday morning; they can destroy lives with a word.

The bible is riddled with contradictions. Yea, I know all the arguments for the “supposed” contradictions, because I believed there were none at one time also. It is unbelievable the tap dance that Christian Apologists have to do to reconcile contradictions. I started looking at these contradictions and then finding the answer to them on apologist websites. I found out that most of them had different answers to the contradictions, and they all believed they were right. I can’t take it when an apologist says, “all we have to do is show that there is a possible answer and the contradiction is resolved”. Are you kidding me? Hell, anyone can come up with a “possible” answer to any contradiction. “The guy is black - the guy is white” Well there’s a contradiction, he can’t be both! Christian answer: The guy that appeared to be black was actually a white guy standing in the shadow of a tree during a full lunar eclipse on a blue moon Tuesday, and he appeared to be black, “no contradiction”. After going through hundreds of these contractions and seeing the answers presented, I threw my arms up the air. My question at this point was why would god so confuse people with his “written word” that no one knows how to interpret it correctly, and no one can really figure out the truth of it? Why is he hiding behind a word that confuses everyone? It is like a bunch of rabbits all running in different directions? I heard a Christian say that god purposely designed his word for confusion so that the message would spread around the world! WTF, they have an answer for everything!

One of the main reasons I walked away was Christians themselves. The examples I see from them are for the most part enough to make me throw up in my mouth. For a Christian/theologian to say that we have an inerrant bible is a JOKE. I know, now the war cry is, “the originals were without error, the bibles we have do have copyist errors”. What part of the word “errors” don’t they understand? Better yet they are never told there are errors, because I never once heard it in 17 years of church going. Christian leaders do not share this with the flock, or they wouldn’t have their steady stream of $$ coming in. Oh, by the way, does anyone have an original gospel so I can examine it to see if there are no errors? Just reading through the book of Matthew (or whoever wrote it) one can see how he so twisted the Old Testament wording to become a fulfilled prophecy for the messiah. Hell, even Matthew couldn’t figure out how to interpret the Old Testament! (NIV)Mark chapter 1 verse 2, “as it is written in Isaiah the prophet”, clearly the rest of the verse is from Malachi, and verse 3 is from Isaiah. Some honor student recognized this when writing the manuscripts that were eventually used for the King James Version of the bible and said, “as it is written in the prophets”. He saw the error and corrected it. Is this what we are to believe is the “Word of God”; they just wily-nilly correct it when needed to hide errors? How much more of this has happened over the centuries without our knowledge? The bible is riddled with problems, but when you’re looking at it through inerrant tinted glasses, it is perfect. My eyes are now open to how much religion, cults, and the like are so deceptive and brainwashing. I believed this stuff with “all my heart” for many years, now I am ashamed to have fallen to such man made brainwashing. I can hear the Christians reading this now, “You just never had a personal relationship with Jesus”. You are greatly mistaken, I did have a personal relationship with him, but he was never on the other end. Now I hear the Calvinist, “You were never one of the elect to begin with”. Answer; if your god condemns people to eternal fire just because he desires to and never gives them the opportunity to be saved, I don’t want anything to do with such a monster. Now I hear the seeker sensitive Christian, “Just give Jesus a chance and he will love you like you’ve never been loved before”. REALLY? He said he would never forsake me, but here I am. He said nothing can separate me from the love of god in Jesus Christ, yet here I am. Do I need to continue? You have all the answers don’t you Christians? Don’t you? Just wait till your writing your letter for this website, and then you won’t be so damn arrogant about what you think you know.

Where does this leave me? I’m pissed off and frankly don’t give a damn anymore about religion of any kind. Christians can leave me alone and stop making my life a f’ing misery. I’m sick of hearing their judgments on mankind; I’m sick of seeing children be ground to dirt because of religious zealots; I’m tired of being told there is one truth and one way when that road is filled with delusion, dishonesty, and manipulation. I want my life back, but fear that all these years of brainwashing are permanent and cannot be eradicated out of my mind. There will always be a fear of mind numbing screaming in an eternal fire. I can sweep it under the rug, throw it out the door, ignore it and say I don’t believe it, but the fact is it will always be sitting back there somewhere haunting me for the rest of my life, if I don’t recommit myself back to lord and go through this nightmare all over again. Can someone please give me a poisoned cup of cool-aid, a compound to move to in Texas, or a comet to live on before I go out of my mind? That may sound a bit sarcastic but this shit has really screwed me up.