I’m a former Christian. I have a hard time calling myself an atheist, but for the normal definition of the word, I am. It’s been an interesting journey out of Christianity. One that would take far too long to describe in great detail. But here is the simplest description.
I grew up in the midwest. My hometown has an old nickname. The city of a thousand steeples. Christianity surrounded me. I grew up in a not well functioning home. We were poor too. Maybe that’s why my mom was drawn to Christianity. She may have been drawn to it and encouraged us to pray, but her life didn’t really reflect a Christian life. I went to Christian school from 3rd grade through 8th grade. It was more because the public schools in our area weren’t the best and my mom wanted to get us a better education.
My parents separated when I was a baby, so on weekends I would visit my dad and he was the one who would take me and my brother to church. The church just so happened to be a Seventh-day Adventist Church. For a person who spent her life wanting to be accepted and wanting to do things right, the Adventist Church was quite an interesting match. It’s full of rules and regulations. You’ve gotta look and act a certain way to be accepted. You need to do certain things for God to love you. An Adventist would never agree with that, but it’s not something that is more subliminal than outright taught. I think most Christians (if not all) have this feeling of wanting to be good to please God. I just think it’s on a different level for Adventists.
So with that feeling of wanting to be accepted, of wanting to do things right, of constantly judging myself, I chose to be a minister. I wanted to serve God. Tell people about him. I was a religion major in undergrad. Even went to the Adventist seminary. I loved my time at the Adventist university (my financial portfolio at the moment doesn’t agree). I made a lot of friends that I treasure. The problem was, I was turned off by how evangelism was done. I was turned off by professors who told me that our goal was to tell people about the 3 Angels Message and not take care of the people’s physical needs. I also didn’t like how women in ministry were treated.
I headed overseas to teach English as a second language in Korea and found out that the Adventist Church was the same everywhere I went. I do admit I was being a major victim throughout the whole experience. And I’m not just talking about my time in Korea. I am sure if I didn’t have a victim mentality growing up I might actually still be an Adventist, but that’s for another life time. 😉
It’s been quite a journey since returning to America in 2009. I’ve lived in two different states. Several cities in both states. Spent a lot of time traveling. And a whole lot more time learning about who I am and what I believe. It took me reading just a few things about the authenticity of the Bible to help me realize that the whole thing was a lie. My thought on the Bible is, if it’s not real, then the whole thing is fake. Even the God of the Bible.
My journey out of faith is still fairly new compared to some people. I’m just glad that I am finally the one in charge of my own life. No more depending on a higher power to help me with things. That really makes life a whole lot more worth living. I’m so glad I left. It’s great to finally be alive.