Its kinda backwards but mu coming out brought up a lot of questions for her. Some of which would have been answered had I done this sooner. I threw this together and its what I gave her.
I am not a writer, I have always been more a speaker so I am sure I
will struggle through this letter.
Though I am not quite sure of the date (we'll say 2009 just to throw
something out there) I started watching a lot of online learning
videos during my downtime at work. These videos I found fun and
educational. As the online video server began to recommend videos
based off of what videos I seemed to like (philosophy and science)
more and more was the system recommending religious material. I did
not watch these videos because I was happily in my christian bubble
and didn't want to move. However, I was intrigued by one of the videos
that was a debate over whether or not god exists. I didn't watch
because I assumed that this was just innate, Everybody believes in God
only the close-minded fools who openly reject are the ones missing out
on God's goodness. But out of curiosity, I watched the video. I was
floored. It was the first time I ever heard an argument against my
belief system. As a christian I was taught to put myself in a bubble
and block out the world and its sinful view of reality.
After watching the video, I realized that had I been on that stage I
would have been torn to bits as a christian. I was not at all strong
enough in my faith to weather that storm. Sure I could have great
biblical answers to things and could point to bible verses for certain
references. but this was the first time I ever heard anyone remotely
imply that the bible MIGHT not be true. So as a good student of God, I
dug into the material into the tough questions that I knew any skeptic
would ask so I could win them over to Christ. I started with the
questions that I had even as a christian. The ones that always rubbed
me the wrong way that I swept under the rug. Surely if I could solve
this puzzle in my own mind it would make for a much stronger arguing
point. Why do dinosaur fossils appear so old and the earth is 6000
years old? There was a host of tough questions that I had. But they
were not the kind that I was used to dealing with as a christian. If a
friend was hurting I knew exactly where to point them in the bible and
what to say. I never knew of what verse to point to to increase faith
in the face of doubt. What do you do when the world around you is
pointing to one thing and your faith tells you another?
I dug into these questions using online literature and documentaries.
I even emailed and got a response from the man I watched representing
Christ in the debate. I realized that I dint have a problem with the
christian perception of right, wrong, salvation, etc,. I had a
problem with the "rational" side of it. Like little details that were
overshadowed by the broader picture of the story.
Example. Noah and the flood.
Sinful world is cleaned but Noah, his family, and one of every kind of
animal are spared. I was taking from that story.."a sinful world gets
what it deserves for disobeying God". It wasn't until now I thought
about "how did a ancient boat with one of every kind of animal on
the planet weather a flood large enough to wipe out earth.
Furthermore, if 40 days of rain covers the tallest mountain it would
rain 10 feet per hour and where did all of this water go because water
displacement says that even frozen water and liquid water take up the
same volume. also, where did the dinosaurs on the boat go and how was
this all just 6000 yrs ago. Then I realized I never saw any prayer
answered and everything that I attributed to god had a perfectly fine
explanation that didn't involve god. I saw the universe and the ways
that we are sitting ducks to be killed by asteroids. Not just that,
but here on earth we are land mammals so we cant live on 75% of the
planet that was created "for us". To scrutinize the 25% that we can
walk on, some is either too hot, too cold, plagued by volcanoes,
earthquakes, and other natural disasters. I found it very hard to
reconcile that all this was made "for us". If god would have made the
world for mankind we wouldn't be bound to such small quarters of the
planet. Then I looked at the solar system and the vastness of the
cosmos and cant help but think that is overkill if all you want is for
people to worship you. Why not put people everywhere on every planet
and capitalize on all that "Unused space" in the cosmos. Questions and
thoughts like that filled my mind.
Within a week I had WAY more rational based questions then I had
answers. I read material on the topic and the result was ALWAYS one of
2 things. 1. Just have faith don't sweat the details 2. something
incredibly implausible that I wouldn't have even believed BEFORE I
started questioning things. I swept all these under the rug but slowly
they began to pile up and make a bulge. I prayed for faith but reason
was so much more fulfilling I even began to think "all those old
testament stories are bologna, but I'll ask Jesus the specifics of it
all in heaven.I continued to learn and grow as a christian but my
doubts were growing along with me. I saw that the world around me made
sense with a secular view and sounded absurd with a christian world
view. Eventually, I put myself in denial because Jesus was real. I
felt him in my heart. I was saved. I got emotional in songs and felt
convicted. Over time I realized that I even get teary eyed during the
star spangled banner thinking about how people gave their lives for my
freedom. irony there huh?.
At this point several months have passed and I am thinking what if I
take my Christian glasses off for just a day. So I did, I was
amazed!!!! I saw the world from a completely different perspective.
Things made sense. The more I learned the better and better it got. It
was so interesting. I learned about the bible, Jesus, the universe.
everything I shut the door to I opened the door to and let it ring in
my head. Of course not until I scrutinized it to determine if it made
sense. I was happy and comfortable. So I put my glasses back on still
experiencing a slight euphoria from the previous day. and things
didn't even look the same. What was once this beautiful world that I
saw and was so amazed at had the life sucked out of it. It was a rigid
place that already had a purpose. Even I had a purpose and it was not
my own. I never looked at Christianity the same way. I secretly fell
out of love with god and cursed him for not being there but it felt
stupid like I was talking to myself and I knew it. I needed to know
what I was. I didn't know who I was. I did know that I was not the
same person I was years earlier.
In a quest to find answers I hunted and hunted. I learned more about
the bible in these 2 years that I probably ever had in my life. Since
I no longer believed that god was pulling strings I could look at
other religious beliefs. By this time, all religious beliefs look
silly to me. It was simply people trying to find explanations for what
they didn't know and understand. And these people were DEATHLY afraid
of hell. I knew that most people if they were like me , in their
heart, they feared hell more than they loved god. They didnt care
about the specifics they just focused on what they were told the big
picture is. I just so happened to be born in America, where we are
predominantly christian. in Pakistan they are Muslim in china they are
Buddhist and in India they are Hindu. We all have their own
explanation for why we are here that was imposed on them from birth by
their parent and other believers. I see things from a different
perspective and I was comfortable an atheist in my own little bubble.
I remember the shock of thinking "ATHEIST" even Muslims still had some
sort of hope at least they cling to SOMETHING. Not nothing.
So after 2 or 3 years there I was alone afraid. I was at the end of my
spiritual journey and didn't know who I was. I frantically start doing
things like eating better getting in shape, being a better husband,
spending more time with the kids (according to my wife more time one
the computer, lol) I was now to a point that I believe that this one
life is ALL i have and I have to make the most of it. Heck, that
evidence is here, in front of me everyday, I can promise that. No
longer would I put something I couldn't see in front of my family.
but I wasnot at the end of my quest for understanding. that was just
waiting on the next discovery the next article I read. I can use my
own internal filter now not the bible. I was HAPPY. My problem? I
went on this journey alone, I never intended to go on a journey but I
left my wife and kids and family and friends back at the starting
block while I wandered off the track.
Afraid, I turned to the web where I found a comfy little website for
people who were leaving Christianity where I found several guys just
1. They were married some with kids
2. they all went to church and were active members
3. and in a quest for answers they were turned away from Christianity
and their spouses and families didn't know it.
Though we don't know each other or know each others names we all once
loved Christ and knew that our marriages and family were the most
important thing in the world to us. We encouraged each other to mosey
up the strength and tell our wives rather than live in seclusion like
this. I hated having to rely on support from people I didn't know but
it was SO GOOD to see people in my shoes. They understood....Then my
eyes were open to a new truth. I realized that ATHEISTS, who I thought
were mean immoral close minded people, were not that. MOST of them
were just like me. they were Christians, who looked for answers and
didn't find them and they could no longer believe that god was real.
but by then they had huge stakes in the game and a lot to lose. Family
who wont talk to them anymore being banned from family functions,
being discriminated against.
My thoughts now....I think that everyone who looks deeply for answers
without any bias ahead of time will in no way come out of this thing a
believer. I wouldn't dare to impose my belief on any one but I would
encourage them to look deeply for answers to all the questions you
have don't roll over and accept anything. My fear.....My wife is very
rigid in her belief and I don't see her ever turning from the faith.
Though it would be easier if we both had the same mindset, I have
never seen her change her mind about ANYTHING since I've known her. so
I don't see her ending up like me anytime soon. I'm an information NUT
and it took me years to get to where I am. at this point I'm just
mapping how best to move forward. My wife's perception of me has
changed now. This is scary and what I feared most....my wife to change
her opinion of me at a point when I'm so happy and comfortable. I can
only imagine how I would feel if the situation was flipped. Time and
knowledge is the only thing that can heal this.