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Formulated For Faith


Guest holysmokes
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Guest holysmokes

Hey everyone... just joined and thought i'd post my testimony.

 

I was born into a pretty mildly religious family. My mother has always been active in the church, and usually teaches sunday school classes (she's really good with kids) and summer bible camps. We would go to church every sunday (and holidays) and pray before every dinner. My father went along with it, but never really seemed like he believed it. I think he was always more interested in making my mother happy. It was always kind of funny... my mother's side of the family (very religious) were very uneducated (few went to college) and seemed to lack a certain... cohesiveness, I guess you could say. My father's side (Heart surgeon, business owner/entrepeneur, ER doctor) was not very religous, but our family reunions were the best and they were very frequent. Maybe that helped me lead to my atheism? Who knows.

 

Anyways, they threw me in the private school system (Seventh Day Adventist) right from the start. Every year up until 6th grade I had at least one bible study class, not to mention the stuff I was learning in church and the summer camps my mom sent me too. I had tons of questions about the Bible, but I was told by my respective authorities that I was too young to understand.

 

"Trust in God. He created the universe, he has the answers... when you meet him you can ask him anything."

 

This was the start of my skepticism. What if I want answers now? If I don't understand then how can I be expected to believe? Why isn't the Bible easy to understand? How come there are so many denominations?

 

My parents were suprised that I would have those types of questions at my age. I had two older siblings who had no problem accepting their doctrine. As time went by, they decided to take us out of private school and put us in the public school system (mostly because my mom wanted to start working again, and the private schools didn't have buses). Nevertheless, it was a very new experience for me. I was very suprised at all the different religions people believed in, and even more suprised to find that some people outright didn't believe in any God(s).

 

I supressed my religious curiosities for awhile and decided to just be a kid. I grew to love books; reading was something that I absolutely loved to do. Fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, everything. I loved learning about how things worked and how other people lived. I loved learning about new and interesting ideas, and theories about where we came from and why we are here.

 

Once I started high school, I decided that I should start learning about what God really meant in the Bible. I still believed in God but wasn't too sure about what I read in the Bible. The 'answers' I found in books and from pastors were dissapointing. I recieved almost no good answers; everything was assumptions, psuedoscientifical hand-waving, and question-dodging BS. I decided to give the Bible a break and look for something new.

 

I had always been skeptical about the Bible, but this was the first time I was skeptical about God. I prayed, but recieved nothing in return. I tried really hard to believe, but I simply could not lie to myself. It didn't add up for me.

 

As you can probably imagine, I had just as many questions as I had before. Where did we come from? Why are we here? If there is no God, can I be moral? The difference between these questions and the ones I had before was the simple fact that my new questions actually had answers! Answers that made sense in my head, answers that left the bullshit out and kept logic and reasoning in. I started my own little library and bought about 2-3 books a month, and the ones I finished I lent out to friends who were confused about their beliefs, just as I was.

 

Fast-forward to today: confident atheist who still understands that certain Gods are possible, but very improbable. I serve my community as a firefighter (career and volunteer) and in the off-season I attend school working towards a BA in Biology. I have a great relationship with my family, my mom accepts my atheism (she thinks it's just a phase) and my dad is very curious about my non-belief. I've lent him a few starter books (Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker), but hopefully he'll come to a decision logically that he's happy with. My older brother is a homosexual (interestingly enough, I would consider him my mom's 'favorite') who is also confused about his faith. I help where I can.

 

I'm proud to be who I am, and i'm proud that I can be a good person without the idea of heaven or hell fueling my character. If, for some reason, the evidence logically lead me to believe in a God or Gods then that's the route I would take, but you can be damn sure it wouldn't go unchallenged. Interestingly enough, this is mostly a shortened version of my testimony but it get's the job done ( I hope) :)

 

Thanks for listening (well, reading).

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I've often wondered who or what I would be if I had not been forced to live in religion all my life. Your story gives me a good idea. Your approach to life, the questions you asked, the answers you found acceptable--all of it is identical to me. I just love how you talk about answers that "keep the bullshit out and the logic in."

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I serve my community as a firefighter (career and volunteer) and in the off-season I attend school working towards a BA in Biology.

Fantastic! Holysmokes is a firefighter working towards a degree in biology! That is downright poetic in my opinion.

 

Welcome to the forums HS. It's good to see you here.

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Welcome holysmokes

 

I'm a newbie too, and it was nice to read your testimonial. I guess the fact you are a firefighter lends some understanding of your moniker. Glad your here, and looking forward to reading more from you.

 

Jella

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