Eighteen years ago I was known as what we call today a fundie or fundamentalist Christian believer. I was a fully committed Spanish Pentecostal evangelist with a street ministry that spanned for four years from 1990 to 1994. In those days being a Christian to me meant not only being a follower of Christ but also imitating his life by displaying humility and boldness when required as I went on my quest to spread the so called good news gospel to as many people as I possibly could.
Every experience that I ever had in those days I attributed to one of three sources. Either God allowed some adversity in my life to test my faith, the devil was attacking me for winning souls, or God was blessing me in some special way. Practically every waking moment I was talking with the Lord in my mind for that is what I believed was the true meaning of prayer. I believed that in those days I walked with the Lord and talked with the Lord and was in complete fellowship with him. Anytime I was given a preaching engagement with enough time for preparation I fasted for three complete days in my basement. I read the bible seeking God's guidance for the message of the evening and prayed often and isolated myself from friends and family members.
Anytime I was ministering to the church or the unconverted who were drawn to my message I gave God 100 percent credit and glory for any apparent "miracle" that might have occurred. I dealt mostly with the demon possessed and I believed fervently that many were either demon possessed or oppressed and were thus hindered from coming to the foot of the cross and repenting of their sins and committing their lives to Jesus. I had personally read over 60 books on demonology by the likes of R.W. Schambach, Smith Wigglesworth, Morris Cerullo, and many many more.
I believed in those days that I had all the gifts of the Holy Spirit as they are outlined in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. People claimed to have been healed during my services and others manifested "demonic" spirits which I through ministering in Jesus name would cast out. I thought in those days that I was changing lives and making a difference, but most importantly helping save souls and bring them to Christ.
In those days I would be challenged by nonbelievers but I did not let any of their arguments sway me. I was a rock; an untouchable! I did not read secular books nor watch secular programing on the television. My whole life was Christ centered; I literally had tunnel vision when it came to the things of God and the bible. I was a fanatics fanatic and saw the world in black and white. To me there was no grey area: either you were with the Lord or against him, and if you were against him then you were by default a child of Satan.
Anytime I had a perverse thought run through my head or believed I had done something wrong which might not have been pleasing before the eyes of the Lord I repented right away and prayed for the Lord's forgiveness. I protected my so called salvation as if it was the universes greatest treasure. This was the way I was until the day I read the bible in its entirety for the first time. I was so blown away at how silly it was that I ended up reading it 3 more times just to make sure I was not missing something. It turns out the more I read it the more I despised the God of Abraham. Of course I did so with genuine fear in my heart because in those days I was still held captive by the power of my beliefs or rather my superstitions.
The bible constantly tells you to fear the Lord and the church drills it into your mind till it becomes a reality. The authors of the bible seemed to have been well versed in the powerful hold that fear has to capture a persons mind and subject them to your will. Even after declaring myself an atheist it took me six years to overcome this fear completely.
Finally, I think that it is sometimes pointless to argue with theists, especially fundamentalist ones. They have already made up their mind and are completely blinded by their faith there is no grey area for them. I have never met a fundie that was convinced to leave the faith because someone talked him or her out of it. We can plant the seed of doubt but this freedom from superstition is a journey that you have to choose to make on your own. That has been my experience, and to date if you were to discuss this with any former fundie they will tell you that it is not an easy journey. This road is filled with fear, doubt, etc.
In conclusion, I feel that by sharing my experiences on this blog I can help others who have also chosen to embark on this journey. It's not easy but you have the support of a whole atheist community behind you and a mountain of knowledge thanks to the world wide web. Good luck with your journey and if you ever need some advice or just want to talk feel free to contact me anytime through my blog and I will be glad to help you find the resources you need.