This post is re-printed from the ‘Top Stories Forum’ on Topix. We have only re-produced a snippet here. If you want to read all four parts (and I reccomend you do), follow this link.
Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part One
I was raised from my infancy by deeply religious people, surrounded by a family full of Baptist preachers, deacons and missionaries. I myself was baptized, as well as I can recall, at about the age of ten.
I can remember being struck by the fact that everyone around me at the time – and I do mean everyone – kept telling me that what I had just experienced was the most important event of my life, and that everything else I would ever do would shrink to insignificance alongside it. I was receiving the power of the Lord. It was a special time for me.
Well, I enjoyed all the attention, as any kid would, but I remember wondering: Why don’t I feel any different, myself? I thought about my attitudes, my perceptions, the circumstances of my life, and I couldn’t think of a single thing that was any different, now that I was one with Jesus. No matter how hard I tried to find something new and meaningful, there was nothing. It was a hollow, empty, and lonely sensation, and surprisingly so. It was not what I had expected at all.
I concluded after a time that I must not be doing something right. Everyone around me seemed so confident and secure in their faith and mine so tenuous in comparison, I felt left out. The shortcoming, I decided, must be mine. I must be missing something.
I resolved to try harder. I devoted myself to Bible study and prayer. I sensed that everyone around me would be horrified if I were to express any of these reservations I was feeling, so I kept them to myself. I suppressed them, and did my best to forget them altogether.
The years went by and I attended services regularly but somehow I never quite shook the uneasy sense, in the back of my mind, that I had never truly felt the presence of a transcendent being – Jesus, God, or anyone at all.
I remained outwardly compliant, but inwardly I began to feel isolated and as much as I tried to banish this feeling, it persisted. As I reached adulthood it intensified until I became aware that, despite my best efforts, it was not going to go way. More troubling still was the bulk of doubts I began to feel about matters of doctrine. I began to doubt, among many other things, the true value of grace.
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