Growing up, I was raised as Baptist, a denomination of Christianity. It was apart of me and I loved it. Going to church, sunday school, abiding by all of the rules, it was just the icing on the cake. I even prided myself on how holy I had been..or how I thought I’d been. I had no choice; that’s how I was raised, and I had no idea that other religions existed outside of my own. I was housed in a protective bubble away from the world I guess.
During my freshman year of college, I had taken a religion class in which we took a close look at the new religious movements. I found it really interesting that there were so many different religions out there. What amazed me most was the rituals they went through. I thought it was really weird, and I admit, I thought those people were fools. But I was reminded by my professor that those people probably had the same opinion of me. So I left that class with a more open mind. I still thought the only “right” way of living was through Christianity; I just showed a little more respect since I would expect the same.
It wasn’t until the first semester of my sophmore year that I began to realize that it was ok to ask questions. When I was younger I had asked someone, “Who created God?”. Of course, I was silenced and told not to ask those types of questions or I would go to hell. I immediately felt guilty for even thinking up of such questions. Though as I got older, I still needed answers but I wouldn’t dare seek them; I was terrified of going to hell. Again, My sophmore year was when I realized it was ok to ask questions. I began to get engaged in intellectual conversations concerning religion and found that I was not alone in seeking answers. I still feel guilty for questioning and doubting, but I really need to be informed. I also began to see the contradictions in the bible which really made me mad. All of these years this was sitting in my face and I’ve never explored it until recent.
My first act of defiance was when I decided to stop going to church many years ago. I figured that I didn’t need to be in a church to prove my devotion to God. I used to feel really guilty at first about not going, but I was still a devout Christian at heart. I consider myself to be a fairly good person. I don’t lie, steal, cheat, etc, and if I do, I’m not aware of it. Therefore, I really don’t need to go to church.
My second defiance was when I started openly questioning the mechanics of Christianity and the bible as I have previously stated. My third and not last defiance is currently taking place. I’m contemplating abandoning Christianity. I’ll admit, I’m pretty frightened. I think this is due to the fact that I’ve been instilled with the fear that comes along with the religion. I still believe in God, so I’m not sure if he will retaliate and abandon me. I’m afraid I’ll end up homeless with a series of misfortune because of the wrath of God. Though on the other hand, he may take pity on me and bless me. I don’t know at all. Can I be a good person without having the title of being Christian? Is that allowed, me following those rules, but not being apart of that community?
I’m slowly losing my faith. It may have to do with current events. It seems as if religion, Christianity in particular is being abused and used to cause harm rather than support. Politicians are using it for their own benefit, and the people think that it is ok. People are also using it as an excuse to discriminate against certain people for their personal beliefs and lifestyles. I’ve grown pretty open minded over the years and I do not agree with that at all. Religion is not suppose to be a subterfuge and I refuse to give into that lifestyle of hatred.
So, there you have it. This, in a nutshell, is my brief journey through discovery. I’m nowhere near the ending, and hopefully I make the right decision in the end. I’m still a bit confused, but at least I know now that it is ok to be confused. (Also, I didn’t edit this piece, so be mindful of the mistakes you may have encountered while reading this).