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The Lights Turned On

By Rebel With A Cause ~

I was born and raised in a middle-class Christian home. We did the typical stuff most Christians do - church on Sundays and Wednesdays, Friday night prayer meetings and bible studies. I was OK with everything until I hit my teen years.

My father was a pastor, so ever since I was a kid many things including certain cartoons and video games were banned because they were considered demonic. I wasn't allowed to date anyone who wasn't a Christian because it was considered a sin against God. In my early teens my father began to instill the fear into me and my siblings that if we left the faith, we would burn in hell worse than anyone else in the world, and if I stopped going to church, several demons would attack me and make my life worse.

I did what I could to ignore the fear and just tried to keep the faith and continue to live the Christian life the best I could with a smile.

Things got harder for me.

He later taught me how the bible says we have to evangelize to get the church to grow (we were losing people by the dozens) and said that if I didn't share my faith with friends, family, and strangers, I would stand before God and there blood would be on my hands. So, being a teenager and being told about hell and threatened with sharing "Gods Love" with the world, and so on, caused me to have a nervous breakdown when I turned 20.

I basically got burnt out.

I would evangelize to people on the streets almost every day and would "open air" preach on street corners strictly out of fear.

After all this I simply had to stop and think is this all real or could it be a lie. As I began to look at the bible and the state of the church, I soon realized things like the many contradictions in the bible, the many prayers of needy and desperate people going unanswered, etc. I could go on, but the biggest problem I had was my father. He said that Jesus can heal families and make people's lives better, but to this day it has only caused conflict and separation.

I left the christian faith a year ago and I have never looked back. Now my relationship with my siblings and mother has gotten way better, but my father is still a religious bigot who is judgmental to all my siblings and mother if we don't do the religious stuff he tells us to do.

The saddest thing for me is that now that I have left the faith, my father and I have nothing to say to each other. All he ever really cared about ever since I was a kid was if I was praying, reading my bible, sharing my faith etc. He shows little to no interest in my life now that I'm agnostic. But that's alright for me, because now I'm free.

Today I'm a proud agnostic continuing to live my life free from the oppression and lies of religion and will strive to do what I can to make a better life for myself and the people around me.