Linny, Converts, #(1833)

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Hello all. My name is Lyndon, and I am a fairly recent atheist. I openly acknowledged I don’t believe anymore about 6 months ago but had strong doubts for years. I opened up to my mother about it 3 months ago. As for my father, I only fully opened up about the reasons I thought Christianity is false about a week and a half ago, though I didn’t word it like that. This dialogue with my dad took place at my sister and brother-in-law’s house after quite a few bourbons and carried on through to the early hours of the morning. it was liberating to be able to openly and honestly challenge my father with the questions that I had, and to have him acknowledge that they were reasonable questions, that my position was logical and rational and made sense. We came to the point in which (although neither of us said as much) we both knew that what I said made sense and what he said did not. I now believe that my father will, in time, stop clinging to his Christian beliefs. 

I was raised by parents who loved (and still love) me greatly but who indoctrinated me from birth to believe that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving god that sent his son (himself in human form) to die for our sins, so that if we’d only accept gods son as our lord and saviour, we would have eternal life in heaven. Everyone else goes to hell. This indoctrination carried on through my childhood and on into adulthood. I had a variety of questions growing up concerning the Christian faith. I remember at about age 18 on a drunken night out, I allowed myself to indulge in a little drunk sob-session, during which I cried out to God, ‘Help. Are you there?’ I wanted answers. I didn’t like that I struggled to believe it anymore and that I had so many doubts and questions that I knew nobody could answer. If God is all loving, why would he send my cousins to hell just because they didn’t believe in him or what he did? Would any loving father do that? Of course not. An ancient god constructed by primitive Jews on the other hand, might. Anyways, I realised that at the end of the day, having a faith came down to just that- faith. Choosing to believe in something off of bad evidence. And as Sam Harris so clearly put it, “It’s unreasonable for a god to expect us to believe something based on poor evidence.” I found myself agreeing. If what Christianity says is true is in fact true, then our existence in this world is a sick game, cooked up by a jealous, petty and egotistical, dictator god, who created us without our permission damned to spend an eternity in hell unless we accept Christianity. What unending love… What amazing grace. 

I spent last year undertaking a certificate in Ministry and Theology. It was an internship at a Pentecostal church that included church management, pastoral care and bible study. This was a last-ditch attempt at squelching my questions and doubts. A year committed to reconciling my relationship with God and hopefully actually hearing from him. It was a worth while experience in that it helped to cement my belief that Christianity is a myth among a plethora of other myths, and that faith is not a virtue. 

I am now becoming more and more secure and at ease with the fact that the message of Christianity is actually a horrible and immoral one. Life now has more meaning. Now I am learning to reject the idea that this life is just a test to determine the next life. For those of you who don’t know, that’s a freeing experience. To no longer believe that I am mandated by god to share the Gospel and save souls.. Now I can live. Now I am able to take my life back. It sounds dramatic but it’s true. The majority of my life has been lived with a Christian filter. Now I am excited to be alive and to be an active participant in our life on this plant. 

Peace and all the best, 
Linny

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