|Newbie here! Former baptist|
I grew up in a Baptist family. I remember being around 9 or 10 when I was interviewed by the pastor to see if I was ready to be baptized. It was so awkward because I really didn't think anything they told me was really true but I said that I did because it was expected of me. Most of those bible stories are pretty far fetched. Even a 10yo could see that. David and Goliath, Noah and his ark, Ruth turning to a pillar of salt, the parting of the Red Sea. Then all the other stories that contradict each other. God is a loving God who forgives all sins and welcomes you into his home. Yet he flooded the earth to kill off all the heathens, lost his temper and destroyed the temple, will rain down fire and brimstone on all those who do not believe in him. That didn't sound right to me. Believe in me or I'll kill you? That's loving? And why is it a GOOD thing to be "God fearing"? We aren't supposed to fear what we love...are we?
So I told them what they wanted to hear and got dunked in a tank behind the choir. Of course the pastor took great care in making sure that my penis was clean and I was completely naked under the baptismal robe. That's another story for another day...
I grew up in the church and noticed as I got older how completely hypocritical everyone was. The bible says not to judge others but that's ALL that they do. I was actually sent home from a Wednesday night service because I didn't have a tie on. I had on khakis and a nice button down shirt but that wasn't "good enough for the Lord". So much for him accepting everyone for the person they are instead of the person they claim to be eh? A large percentage of the baptist church members smoke, drink, do drugs, cheat on their spouses, beat their wives, molest their children and then go to church on Sunday and act like saints while looking down on everyone. At the age of 17 I'd had enough. I stopped going to church all together. I briefly returned to a non-denominational church in my 20's but I still didn't feel right. All these people singing songs with their hands in the air and occasionally passing out when overcome "with the spirit". I never felt that way and thought it was kind of silly. I really think people do that just to convince others in the room that they have a better connection with God. "Look at me!! God has taken over my body! My body, not yours!" Whatever.
In my mid-twenties I started thinking about religion and looking for some hard evidence. My journey of reason I suppose. I always wondered why the bible never mentioned the dinosaurs and other proven historical time periods on earth. According to the bible, Adam and Eve were created and all humans descended from them. That was the start of humanity and the planet. Nothing else happened here before that. I could never get any pastor to explain that to me. If that story is true, aren't we all a product of incest? I also had an interest in the unexplained. Particularly the Nazca lines in Peru, Stonehenge, the great pyramids, and the Sun God. Perfectly aligned structures and images only viewable from the sky. You have to admit that it's quite fascinating. Most intriguing is the fact that many ancient religions, including christianity, tell of some sort of deity in the sky. It kind of makes you wonder doesn't it? Do you think there is life on other planets? Could they have come here and inspired the religion? I just don't know.
So now I'm sort of "in the closet" with my views but I really think that you all are right. I know that once I make my views public I will be shunned by family and friends. I've enjoyed reading the posts here. They have given me some ammo to use when family attempts to convince me that I will burn in hell for thinking this way. Thanks for reading