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Growing up in Christian Nihilism

By TJ ~

I grew up in a fundamentalist home with a father who believes the Bible is in the inspired word of God and a schizophrenic ex-catholic mother who at the time believed only 144,000 people would go to heaven, and of course our family of three, from her perspective, was unquestionably a part of this small minority. Their marriage was always on the rocks because my mother wished she had married money, and my father's philosophy is from my perspective one of Christian Nihilism. By Christian Nihilist, I mean someone who essentially believes that your body, your finances and pretty much anything in this world is of no meaning, and so for this reason he did not earn much money or take care of himself. To him, you're just waiting for death on this earth and because our lives are short and transient, we shouldn't concern ourselves with the world.

 My mother became extremely abusive if I was sick and smacked me in the face because it would trouble her financially to take me to do the doctor. It seems neither parent really wanted to work but both had a desire for money and eventually my father was convicted of check fraud to keep afloat the business he had expanded too quickly. Apparently to my mother a child was the worst thing that could've happened to her and they both married because it was the appropriate Christian thing to do. As I matured into my teenage years and finally an adult my father divorced remarried another woman. Eventually she died while abusing drugs. I still think of my father's lack of consideration for her needs because she was an alcoholic on disability who was addicted to prescription pain medication. She was extremely domineering and controlling and apparently convinced my father to write false prescriptions for her which he later ended up in prison for.

 Mind you he considers himself a Christian minister and an elder. He kept telling her Jesus Christ is the answer. Due to the many a abuses that occurred and my lifetime experiences with Christians, I've found most of them to be extremely selfish people who lack consideration for anything just, right, or true. They belittle everyone around them and have no care in regards to the feelings of others. They steal money from anyone they can including the elderly and disabled, they brainwash people into believing things that simply are not written in the Bible and they participate in strange spiritual experiences from unknown sources. According to them, anything spiritual is God, or so it would seem. I attended a strange meeting with my father where people who believed in "spiritual drunkenness" would shout boing and ding-dong throughout the entire service as well as meetings where people were supposed to fall under the power of the Holy Spirit. I fell because I thought I might embarrass someone, but it wasn't under God's power. I was too afraid to keep standing because I didn't want to rock the boat so to speak.

They also held prayer meetings where people are required to pray aloud in a group, and if I was honest I would've told them that prayer is private and it makes me uncomfortable to pray out loud in front of others as it transforms prayer from something between a person and their God into an attempt to impress others by the lengthy or perhaps noble nature of the prayer being spoken. There were also church services where the pastor would command members of the congregation to get up and write out checks to his church rather than allowing people to give freely as they chose to. I do believe I have had answers to prayer and that God exists, but you are not going to convince me that I must be a member of "Christianity" or that my doubts about Jesus being God or at times even existing means that I deserve to burn forever. God never once told me I had to be a Christian or that people went to hell for being a member of the wrong religion. I'm left with a permanent state of cognitive dissonance at this point though, having once been thoroughly convinced that the Bible is without error and that non-Christians would burn in hell. I couldn't bring myself to believe that because someone wasn't born in the American Bible belt and didn't attend a fundamentalist church that they would go to hell. Why does God care so much about religion? It is a strange sensation for me not to have a religion. No atheism, No Christianity, No Islam, No Buddhism, no pretending to know I know exactly who's going to heaven as though I were the judge of the earth itself because I have the answer to everyone's problems. I've only been to Church once in perhaps 15 years at this point, and I'm not saying I'll never set foot in a church.

 The truth is though, I really in my heart at this point believe Christianity is a cult. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it takes a convincing and charismatic pastor to convince you that it isn't a duck. Why should Christians have a corner-market on spirituality and God? Why this monopoly? No one has ever gone to heaven outside of modern Christians, or so it would seem. After all, the fundamentalists exclude the Catholics and the Muslims and everyone else whose beliefs differ. From what I've read in the Bible, Jesus didn't have much to say, and what he did have to say has nothing to do with Christianity anyway. He Himself wrote nothing, and Paul wrote the majority of the new testament outside of the four gospels. I suppose God can resurrect the dead, but I also think its possible that Christians wanted to invent a new God. So I'm a doubter, and I don't believe I deserve to fry for it.