When I was about 12, it was discovered that the pastor had been embezzling money from the church for his own personal use. There are good and bad people in every religion and sect of life. And, I don’t think most pastors are like this one. So, I don’t hold it against Christianity in general. But, it turned out that my first Baptist church was run by someone who was a crook. That was when several members left that church, as did my family. Our new church was less Hellfire, and a little friendlier. But, it was still Baptist, through and through.
There comes a time when after wanting something for so long, that you give up. That was the point I had come to with truly understanding the deeper aspects of religion. I believed in religion. I had no reason not to. Everyone, I knew believed it, as did my teachers, my family, my friends. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I even met someone that called themselves an atheist. I just figured I’ll understand this stuff when I get older. But, one thing I knew for a fact is that I didn’t want to be the guy burning in Hell for all eternity. So, one day, I took the youth pastor aside, and told him I needed to be born again. What that means, really, is that you admit that you’re a sinner, and that Jesus’ death on the cross is the atonement for that sin. And, that if you accept Him into your heart, you will be forgiven of your sin and spend eternity in Heaven. I believed that fully, and I said the prayer that the youth pastor told me to say.
Now, I am an official Christian. The funny thing about Baptists is that they don’t like Catholics a whole lot, and vice versa. The different sects of Christianity always confused me. If God was spreading his message throughout the world since Jesus’ time, there had to be Christians that were saved since then. So, what was the right version of Christianity? Protestantism didn’t come about until Martin Luther. Was everyone up to that point wrong about Christianity? They couldn’t all be going to Hell. My extended family was still Catholic. Now, I’m a Baptist. What about all the other versions of Christianity? Who had it right? With all these new questions I did the same thing as all the other unanswered questions … I told myself, I’ll figure it all out when I’m older. But, I couldn’t say that I thought everyone who wasn’t a Baptist was going to Hell. So, the way I saw it was, they follow Christ, we follow Christ, we all are pretty much on the same page, even if neither of those groups saw it that way.