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Libertus' Story


Libertus

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Here's my Testimony again:

 

Hello everyone. I have been around the forums for a little while and have made a few posts, but have not gotten around to telling my story. Well, I have always, at least half-heartedly, believed in the existence of God. I didn't grow up in a tremendously religious family, but if you had asked me I would have said that I was a Christian. I remember mostly as a teen feeling guilty for the things I thought and did because "God" was watching me.

 

In my early twenties, I finally succumbed to threats of hell and the accusation that I wasn't a real Christian and I went forward in a church service and got saved. Well, initially it was a major thing. I got a new bible from a family member, and because it was a Study Bible it seemed a little more interesting to read than the regular kind. I started reading the bible a lot. My wife and I finally found a church and started going regularly. I got extermely committed. I willingly stopped listening to the music that I had listened to, I stopped watching most TV and I loved inundating my ears with "some good preaching". It was an obsession. I couldn't even think straight. I felt like I was still smart, but my thinking was sooo convoluted with religion that it didn't always make sense.

 

Church became the focus of my life, even above my family. I started tithing and giving extra money that I couldn't afford so that I could get my reward that I "would not have room enough to contain". Needless to say, it didn't come. I was a part of the ministry at my church and a big part of the ministry at my work. I was sold out. I became (and still am) a pretty good lay-bible scholar. I would pray for hours, and if I couldn't come up with something to say I would just "pray in tongues" (which I now realize is exactly the same "language" I spoke in 5th Grade when I told all of the girls I was Italian . . . hmmm.). I lost who I am.

 

After about 5 years, the questions that always plagued me (like "What if this is all just a big waste of my time?") kept coming back. My pastor said something one day (that she often said) that totally conflicted with what the Bible said. I checked it out and sent her an email, and she never responded. I had already started to get fed up with a lot of what I was hearing from multiple pulpits (especially the stupid "send me your money so that God will prosper you" crap). I talked to a fellow christian who had had some of the same feelings, and I decided that I would not allow a person to determine my beliefs. This lead me to do a lot more bible study as well as prayer. I was getting no where. The more I studied the less it all made sense. I started searching the web for "good" apologetics, and the were all just ignorant propaganda. I eventually ran across the Skeptic's Annotated Bible and other sites from his links page (including this one) and I started to see stuff that made sense. It was very painful in the beginning, but eventually I admitted to myself that I could not possibly believe just because I always had. I admitted the truth to myself.

 

Of course Christians will say that I am just angry with my pastor and that I really still believe. Really, I don't. The issue with the pastor was just a small stepping stone (in the right direction I might add). I now consider my self an atheist (an agnostic atheist to be more specific - because I don't believe in a god or gods, but I also don't believe we have the information to say unequivically that there is not one or more. I think we have more than enough information to not believe that any exist, but since we don't know what we don't know . . . then who knows? )

 

I am very happy in my unbelief, and it is amazing how alive you can feel when the rust starts to fall off of your brain and it starts to actually work again. WOW! I do have a lot of family who wish that I weren't an atheist, but they love and support me anyway. I have a very pentacostal wife who can't stand it, and basically says that I can go to hell if I want as long as I never mention any of my godless thoughts to her or my children. That's another story entirely.

 

Anyway, I hope to start entering into discussions a little more, but it may take a while before I have the time. Thanks for reading.

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Guest Anonymous

Wow that's some story. Its good that you were able to think for yourself and set yourself free. Too many people let the church do their thinking for them and believe everything that everyone says. Christians can't stand it when their beliefs are challenged. It's as if they don't know what to do if their beliefs might turn out to be wrong. There's a freedom when you breakaway from religion and its great that you've found it. :)

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