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Losing my religion

By Free Unicorn ~

I've been rummaging through the internet trying to look for answers to my questions and I'm so glad my quest brought me to this platform. I'm currently going through my deconstruction. I didn't even know the meaning of deconstruction from Christianity until I saw a post by the famous Joshua Harris who is no longer Christian. Here's my background. I'm from Kenya, Africa. Around here, religion is literally the foundation of everything - we are a very religious group of people is what I'm trying to say. So, of course, I wouldn't know who to share this with because I know how it would be received. My story is probably all over the place here but please understand that this is the first time I'm trying to gather my thoughts and explain my process.

I grew up in an incredibly religious home - born and bred in the Anglican church. We hosted missionaries and church people in our home and I even went on missions at a very young age. My mom is "Super Saved" and I remember watching her worship and praise around the house when I was younger. Needless to say, children learn by observation because that's who I became. My parents told me when I was about nine years old that I saw Jesus in the living room - all dressed up in a white robe, a sling bag, and a shepherd stick - oh and he was Caucasian with long darkish brown hair. Now that I look back, I think I was watching the tape of "Jesus of Nazareth" way too many times and it's only normal that I thought I saw him in the room. Christianity was not forced down my throat through threats and consequences unlike in other African homes but I can see how I was indoctrinated into it. I went to boarding Christian schools and I served in the church section in them - as an usher, a worship team member and a High table servant (serving Holy Communion). I was the Jesus Freak, straight A-Student, and the most obedient child. I did everything right, according to the Bible and to my parents. I carried that into University although I 'backslid' for a while then, of course, got saved again and baptized. I started a blog where I documented my relationship with Christ and it opened up doors for me on TV and radio - I also connected with many people who said my writing encouraged them. I was the model Christian girl and I thought I had my shit together!

To backtrack a little bit, my parents have a very dysfunctional marriage. I discovered my dad was cheating when I was barely thirteen - Literally bumping into text messages from other women on his phone. I guess he forgot that they were there. My dad had always been my hero and we were a perfect family from the outside looking in so when I saw the messages I was confused and I told my mom about it. She told him that I knew and life has never been the same again. He radically changed as if he was waiting for a trigger to show us who he had always been. My mom has since defended him and his actions claiming that he's under the devil's spell and other women have bewitched him. I have heard that story retold my entire life until today - like a broken record.

Over the years as things got worse, I urged her to divorce him but she said she stayed because of me (I'm the only child) - this is common in many homes where the woman stays in her marriage for the sake of the children. So I completed University and got a good job and I told her she could leave now since I was no longer under the custody or mercy of my dad and again she held on to the witchcraft story. Even worse, claiming that God hates divorce and that she's fighting for her marriage. Honestly, I believed her until it no longer made sense to me just recently. How can a good God not want you to be happy your whole life? Is it more important to protect a command at the expense of your own life? I don't remember a day where my mom has been fully happy - She's either always depressed or anxious and worried about something and she spends a lot of her time in church. She did everything by the book - waited until marriage for the one (my dad was an evangelist then), submitted and served her husband, literally gave up her life to serve God, Tithed and Sowed seeds of faith over the years for doors to open and many other things. The disconnect for me came in when I couldn't understand why her beliefs tied her to unhappiness and misery and because the bible says so, we were under no circumstance to question the suffering. Was I missing something?

Christians really glorify and romanticize suffering if you ask me. Where does rationality step in and religious fanaticism stop? I was angry that Christianity had depraved my mother of so many things simply because "It is written". This would be a very emotional reason to drop a whole religion and I didn't want it to be but it sure was the start of my questioning but I didn't dare entertain thoughts like that at the time and this led me to depression.

I was having a conversation with my best friend when she told me she wasn't sure she believed in the Bible anymore and the whole waiting 'till marriage to have sex. Of course, I was so triggered and I almost got defensive about my faith and purity until I realized that I had nothing to say that would justify anything I believed in. At first, I felt like I was going crazy. How do you even begin to question God Or His perfect will for your life and that of your family? I felt guilty for it because I was the last person I'd expect to ever think of such things. I was all Jesus or nothing at all. My social media was godly and super saved. I listened to sermons, Christian radio and read christian books. I never entertained the thought of secularism especially sex before marriage. I believed fornication would definitely lead to a broken marriage. I was celibate and hard on my ex-boyfriend because apparently he wasn't doing a very great job of leading me to Christ - The Christian phrase for it would be, "I did not trust his leadership" Poor Man! Also, no kissing or any form of intimacy until marriage - I wouldn't even entertain any talk about intimacy because it was unholy and would definitely lead to sex. He was addicted to porn and masturbation and as the very holy Christian girl that I was, I left him because of the sin he allowed in his life.

Looking back, some of my decisions and beliefs were plain stupid. When the author of "I kissed dating goodbye" apologized for the detrimental effects of his radical views on purity, I understood how harmful it had been to my own life. We're taught to suppress all these emotions and natural desires in a way that makes us believe that our bodies are the devil. My then-boyfriend was a virgin so I think porn and masturbation was the only way he could release all his sexual feelings, because he was too afraid to have sex.

I think the church does not do a very good job with the purity message. The expectations built in us eventually end in disappointment because we are told to wait for the one God has for us - s/he will be God-fearing, full of the Holy Spirit, you'll share in the same vision and joy of salvation and a lot of other BS characteristics. Give it to these Instagram picture-perfect Christian couples to sell this idea that if you do things the right way then you are bound to find the perfect partner. And I held my exes on that same unfair standard - If you didn't remind me of Christ then well, Boy Bye!

Where does rationality step in and religious fanaticism stop?Now that I'm deconstructing, I am more open-minded and welcoming of other people regardless of their religion, background or sexual identity. I'm from Africa so reading about how Christianity was used to brainwash and destroy my ancestors has been very hard to accept. It was used as a form of mind control and I can bet you that Africans are more religious than anyone you'll meet. What we were taught in History class and what I'm learning are very different things meaning that the system really never wants us to break free and use our brains.

I'm currently reading the book "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah and it's giving me perspective on who we are as humans and where we came from. Of course, evolution is considered a lie from the pits of hell in Christian circles but It now makes the utmost sense to me compared to the story of Creation in Genesis.

From the outside looking in, the whole Christian charade is absurd - the myths and legends are completely absurd with little to no evidence of their occurrence. Correct me if my reasoning is flawed but if Christ came to abolish the law why then must we continue to live by it so much so if we don't, we'll end up in hell for it? It all looks very legalistic to me and most of it is to sell fear and limit people. Why do we need saving as humans? If God loved us so much why would death be the only option for him to save us? This whole saving concept confines us and makes us think that we will never be good enough on our own and that's how we end up not living our lives to the maximum. We only have a few decades on this planet and living in fear of burning eternally and actually living is not an ideal way to spend our lives. Christians are some of the meanest people around - don't even get me started on the hypocrisy.

I guess I got tired of trying to be the perfect Christian because I just could never be no matter how hard I tried. I'm still ironing out my thoughts and I'm definitely gracing myself until I come to a conclusive answer of what I believe in but I definitely do not identify as Christian anymore. This process started with me questioning why my mom is unhappy under her Christian umbrella but it's led me to this space where I'm actually opening my eyes to the reality of things and I have no regrets.