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I Remember...

By Shauna J ~

I remember my mother teaching me that I needed to give my heart to Jesus Christ. She taught me that everything good that happened to me was because God was giving me blessings and everything bad was because of Satan's evil. She told me stories of Eden, Noah's ark, the great flood, and that a man of virgin birth died for my sins. I was baptized five times over the years, each time after falling from grace.

I remember we saw The Passion of the Christ as a family, I remember the horror I felt watching a man being tortured and the sounds were even worse when I closed my eyes because I couldn't watch anymore. My church had raved about the film and how everyone needed to see this epic movie, but I just cringed.

I remember every year my church would participate in the play production of "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames." A play about the choice that each person has to give their heart to Jesus right before they die. Those that do, get to go to Heaven and those that don't, go to Hell. I knew then that fear tactics were wrong and despised what I saw the church doing.

I remember being asked all of the time "where does your faith come from?" Or "why do you believe?" Then making my answers very general, for instance "I just know in my heart" and hoping that they wouldn't challenge me.

Then I grew up, didn't believe in bedtime stories anymore, and realized that sometimes life just sucks and sometimes life is great. I am not sure if I could really classify myself as an ex-Christian, because looking back I am not sure I ever was one. Two years ago I stopped lying to myself and started accepting what I didn't believe to be true. I feel better now.