Category : Articles
Sub Category : Spirituality
Firstly a little deposition. I was raised Christian, my mother's side was catholic and my father's Baptist. So there was a time when I was going to church events a few times a week. I had no fun experiences in the catholic church even as a young child I went to adult service with my grandmother and between all standing, kneeling, praying, and singing. I was always at a lost with what I was supposed to be doing next and worried about doing something wrong and Lsticking out that it would freak me out. Never learned anything about God or being a Christian. The only thing I focused on was blending it and waiting out the clock.
Now the Baptist church was very different. I went to a children's service on Sunday and would listen to some really charismatic youth pastors read us bible stories. I personally really enjoyed the stories and the talking about them with other kids my age. I truly loved the community aspect of church and the entertainment value it had for a kid. The shit started hitting the fan for me around 11, which is the last year you can go to the youth service. Also was at the same time when I started to question the reality of bible stories. Yet the bigger problem was I felt like I was being shunned the last few months I attended. It all started during a bible study i was being overly defiant wasn't following the rules was being disruptive and was non stop questions about everything being taught. I had never fully bought into tree the entirety of the bible being truth. So I try became a joke to me and a game where i would spend my time at church conceiving the silliest, most condescending questions I could think of.
I was trying to get a laugh from the other kids and stump a pastor, probably just become a nuisance I'm the service. It boiled to a point where I was pulled aside by the head pastor in the youth services. Where he told me not only was my doubt in god is a sin but that speaking out on my doubts was an even greater sin. He lectured me that my line of questioninon my doubts is leaving the door open for the devil who would implant that doubt into the mind of fellow Christian's. Was basically told even if I do have questions that I was to keep them to myself because they were inherently wrong to ponder and it'd be borderline evil to spread that line of thinking.
I was almost 12 at this point and I lost all enjoyment from attendinchurch. It started to feel more like a punishment than anything else. Just more arbitrary rules that I had fo follow, just feeding into my mistrust of authority figures. I simply said Fuck church and became a hardcore atheist for like 15 years and never attended church again. Honestly openly dismissing the existence of god, empowered me I felt in control of my life, of my thoughts and beliefs. I felt free for the first time in my life, did whatever I pleased and at that age just meant I only went to school if I felt like it. Never obediently went with the flow of things again. I felt as if I was in some way superior to the basic stuff I was just supposed to do. I truly believed myself above the rules in every way for many years. Almost as if I knew some kind of truth and could see between the lines. No surprise to me know that level of arrogance and ego only lead me into developing all sorts of problematic and antisocial behaviors.
Fast forward to my early 20s I was still an atheist but I got super into the basic Tennant's of Buddhism like the Noble eightfold path and the steps in achieving Mindfulness. As well as studying the hierarchy of needs in depth and obsessed with achieving Self-Actualization. Even Practiced basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapies on a regular basis. These things helped me to understand a lot about myself, became empathetic and understand that people have to behave a certain way when in any type of functioning community. When I left the church I turned my back on all the truly good life lessons and why being part of a community is so important. I behaved the total opposite for no other reason than spite I guess. Took me l over 10 years to figure out that the problem wasn't necessarily the existence of god or religious Christian's dogma. I simply had to learn for myself the lessons I could've learned in them bible stories and paid attention to it as a whole.
Today I am no longer a angry atheist or believe that its retarded to read the bible. I understand its value, not that I necessarily believe in a Christian god. I can comfortably say who am I to say if god exists or not, I am only human after all. I will say though as a young man the self-awareness I gained threw my personal development using clearly structured Behavioral systems like in buddism, Self-actualization and CBT, was far more beneficial to me than reading the bible ever was. I am grateful to have been raised in a god loving Christian home, I was truly blessed and far more fortunate than most my friends growing up.