Monday, December 22, 2014

You Got To Have Faith




 I have to tell my tale so often that I thought it was time to write it down.


 First, let me clear a few things up.


 An atheist is a Satan worshiper.  False.  That would imply that we believed in the Christian mythos, which we do not. Without the Christian side of the equation, Satan does not exist either. Make sense?


 All atheist’s are at war with Christians.  False.  This is a tale Christians perpetuate.  Why? Because without scary enemies like Satan or atheists, Christianity loses its grip on its membership.


 I will concede that there are many atheists that are jerks, idiots, etc…  But let’s face it, Christians have their share of lunatics as well.


 This country was founded on Christianity. False. This country was founded by many different people with freedom from government and organized religion on their minds.


 Governments and religions had ruined the world up to that point (and I submit still do), and that is why our founding documents specifically control the formation of an official country religion or government that is not controlled by the people.  Although I feel we are slowly losing our grip on this country due to an increasingly ignorant populace.


 Enough of this type of rant, I literally could go on for hundreds of pages.  Let’s get on with the topic at hand. What the heck happened to me?


 Historically speaking, my family came from a Quaker background.  During my childhood, however, we were essentially of the generic Christian variety.


 We went to church and Sunday school. Learned all about Jesus, God, the Bible, etc…


 Those of you who know me are aware that I don’t just sit by and follow the herd.  I tend to blaze my own trail, and seek knowledge everywhere I can. This has always been my way.


 During my school years, in addition to my own church I went to the usual overnight services where they lock you in, and people go to the front of the crowd to accept Jesus into their lives.


 I prayed, and did my best to accept Jesus, and all the trappings that went along with being a good Christian.


 No matter how hard I believed, or how much I tried to understand, the whole thing didn’t seem right.  Many things did not make sense.


 At around 18 years old I seriously was on the edge…


 Why was I not getting this? What was I missing about religion? Everyone else treated it like it was some unquestionable reality.  I truly thought I had psychological issues because I did not see what everyone else did.


 Talking to others got me nowhere. My friends and their families were just as lost on the topic as I was, they just didn’t seem to care.


 On hindsight it’s like being in a bad science fiction movie where everyone around you is in some trance, and you’re the only one who sees the reality.


 The next step was to go to our pastor. I figured since the flock was just as confused as I was, I would go right to the expert!


 After some long, deep conversations with the pastor it soon became apparent that even he did not know the answers.


 I recall his final answer vividly. “You just have to have faith.”


 To my analytical brain that was not a good answer for me.  It was at that moment when I began to realize there wasn’t anything wrong with me.


 For pretty much the rest of my life I have been searching for the meaning of why people follow religions.


 At first I went in search of a religion that made sense to me.  After all, humans have an underlying need to want to belong to something.

Unfortunately, all religions had one thing in common.  They were created by someone that had an agenda.  There really didn’t seem to be any mystical religion that had all of the answers, or even a few of the answers.


 For over thirty years I continue my studies on religion.  I have read many books on the subject, both pro’s and con’s of many different religions. I’ve gone to ceremonies, spoke with practitioners, and learned a lot.


 My Bachelor’s degree is From Wayland Baptist University, where studying religion is part of the curriculum. Here I learned in-depth about the Old and New Testaments.  Instead of drawing me into Christianity, it emboldened my view.


 There is a saying among atheists, that if you want to convert Christians to be atheists just make them read the entire Bible. There are some really bizarre and scary things in there.


 In this article I am not going to try and explain what I have discovered in my search that had made me forget about Christianity. Nobody can explain this to you if you are not willing to have an open mind and learn these things for yourself.


 Suffice it to say, that if you stop memorizing Bible verses, going to church services and study groups constantly, and strike out on a course to truly study Christianity outside of the church, you will begin to see what’s behind the curtain.


 It’s sort of like taking the red pill in the Matrix.

 For me the journey continues. I still read books on religions of the world, old and new, and watch shows about religious history. Perhaps one day something will click and I will accept Jesus into my life and see what all the fuss is about.  That day is just not today...