Today I recieved an email from a follower of my blog on prophesying and how it is done. This letter made me reflect on my own experiences in the ministry. It is hard for me to believe that it has been 21 years since I have escaped the mental prison of my former beliefs. It has been 21 years since I finally overcame the fear of a nonexistent tyrannical God and his imaginary hell. I can honestly say today that the greatest burden in this life that I have had to bear was the burden of ignorance that I once believed with all my heart and mind.
I gave my life and entire being to Jesus and lived to the best of my ability what I taught and preached about. My biggest struggle as a believer was dealing with being a 21 year old evangelist for four years and never having a girlfriend or engaging in sexual activity. I had done so previously before I was a believer, but upon accepting Jesus in my life I became aware that fornication (sex out of wed lock) was a sin. For four years I struggled with my desire to have a God fearing wife and a family but also my desires of the flesh for sex was high on the list as well.
I tried to live my life according to a literal interpretation of what the N.T. said. I walked in awe and revered the Lord and loved him to the fullest. I feared him because of how great I believed him to be and how powerful he was. I believed that I was alive and chosen only by his grace to carry out the mission of bringing the "lost" to Christ. I studied and read my bible daily and carried it around with me at all times; even to work! I meditated on the Lord and his word day and night and often mentally talked (prayed) with him.
When I first began to have doubts about my beliefs I suffered great emotional distress because I thought I was being manipulated or mislead by Satan and his cohorts. He was in my mind the first one to blame for my initial doubts. But then as I read the scriptures more and more I began to notice many inconsistencies with how the church should be run and how it was run. I began to first question the order of the church and then the use of the gifts of the Spirit.
Those initial doubts were the hardest to overcome. but nothing was harder than overcoming the fear itself. I was terrified when I began to doubt and I can't even begin to recall how often I had to ask God for forgiveness for having a certain thought cross my mind. It took me six years to overcome that fear, but the one thing that helped me was the seeking of knowledge.
When I got my nerve up I began to study the process of how our bible came to be. It was a very enlightening process and it led me to believe that there was no divine author or guidance needed; it was entirely the work of several authors who for the most part were anonymous. I then began to question doctrine and to research how I was able to do or demonstrate the power of God in the form of apparent miraculous acts. I found an explanation for every last one of them. Once I broke free from the fear. I felt the chains of ignorance fall from my mind and I saw a whole new world upen up before me.
I will never ever go back to any religion. Especially, any religion that requires that I give up my mind and reason and my ability to logically think and analyze all things. I refuse to bow down to celestial tyrants that in my view are no better than the worst of men. I refuse to believe without question or live a life that is radically opposed to human nature. I hope that I may be able to continue to help others that are facing what I once faced. Stay tuned to this blog because I intend to resume writing on this and many other important matters.