Update: I’ve decided to break this post down into several other posts over time. There is just too much to write about to cover in one article.
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I came out of the womb, almost literally, in the Baptist church. I was put in Sunday school, taught all of the traditional southern Baptist values, and schooled weekly that there was one truth. God is the savior, God created us, the only alternative is Hell. You know the story, if you were raised a Christian. You were taught about sin, taught about how Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice to forgive our sins, taught that mankind is evil, and that without belief and dedication to Jesus – you will be damned to Hell. This theology was instilled in my head.
In college I decided to minor in religion. My family didn’t like the idea, they had been warned that these classes would “confuse” me. I quickly realized some things didn’t add up. Why was Judaism wrong? Why was Islam wrong? They came so close to Christianity. Buddhism seemed so beautiful. The questions mounted. I studied.
I found answers to many of my questions. Science is beginning to explain questions about infinite time, “spacetime”, and others – that I had always considered a full proof, proof of God’s existence. Soon I realized that I had no “proof” of Christianity, even if I could still find “good” arguments for God. My family told me it was about “faith”, but I could not accept that. I couldn’t accept that all Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and others would go to Hell because they didn’t accept Christianity on faith, I was raised to believe this and I myself struggle.
Everyone is going to hell, even most Christian’s. More things didn’t add up. Like why did God create us to knowing most of us will go to hell. Other things seemed awkward. Taught we have free will and God knows everything – can the two exist at once? I still couldn’t (and can’t) fully admit there is no God and that Christianity is false. It has been so drilled into my being that it makes me almost afraid to say God is not real.
I am stuck between thinking that the feeling I have that God might be real, and the logical side of me that says God isn’t – even though I say to myself – look at yourself, you have been indoctrinated and you know it. But like a battered woman I cannot come to be an atheist. (or is that God calling me back to him as I have been taught in church?) Too many things contradict. All the evil in the world – allowed to happen by God or a result of Mankind’s sin?
Shit, I’m stuck between my logic and what I have been taught to believe. We’ll talk about this more later. It’s a lot to get out.