Saturday, September 2, 2017

How I once believed in Christianity Part 1

I have been an atheist since 2004 when at that time I had renounced my faith in Jesus and stopped eagerly awaiting his return. It often amuses me throughout the years and many books I have read written by atheists at how baffled they are at the believers inability to see the irrationality of their beliefs. It is for this very reason that I have decided to share my experience as a fundamentalist Pentecostal evangelist and how I personally experienced my beliefs.

The very first thing that you must understand is that I was a literalist.. I believed the Bible to be inerrant and one hundred percent inspired by God through its authors and the various texts we now have. I once owned a pocket red letter addition of the New Testament and recall how excited I would become at the thought of having in my hands the very words of Jesus Christ! As a fundamentalist Pentecostal believer my experience with the church and my beliefs did not come through study but rather through experience. The type of "study" done by me was heavily biased in favor of my beliefs and my confirmation bias assured that I always got the answers that I sought.

Another thing that is important to understand was that my so called religious experiences were considered and seen as confirmation of my beliefs. For instance, if I was praying and I felt a tingling sensation going down my spine or a presence surrounding my being; then that was evidence enough to indicate to me that God was near and was attentive to my prayers. I believed that everything that happened in this world whether bad or good was God's will with an ultimate and greater purpose behind the event.

39“See now that I myself am he!
There is no god besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand.
Deuteronomy 32:39 NIV

This is why most fundamentalists rejoice when they see disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and the latest one in Houston Texas hurricane Harvey. They don't see the death tolls as unfortunate but rather they view it as God's wrath on these people for idolatry, fornication, and a slew of other sins they believe may have offended the good Lord. They don't see the victims as unfortunate victims but rather as God's enemies being subject to his "just" judgement and wrath!  Never mind the children and many innocents that might have died. They have been given a blessing in that if there were any innocents they would be meeting their maker soon and so the ends justifies the means. 

I personally saw the world in black and white there were no grey areas. Either you served God or you served Satan. By serving I meant in how you lived your life and how that was seen and reflected outwardly by others. If you lived in accordance to what I believed was God's will then you were a servant of the Lord. If you lived contrary to what the Bible taught as God's law and will then you were serving Satan. You were in essence an enemy of God. 

All other Christian sects were wrong and all other religions were false teachings inspired by Satan. There was a time that nothing could have convinced me otherwise. I believed that I was following the true path of Christ and my spiritual experiences served as confirmation to myself that I was on the right track. I used to speak in tongues, dance in the Spirit, prophesy, interpret tongues (or so I believed), had visions and dreams. My ministry consisted of casting out demons from those I believed were afflicted by Satan and his minions. Casting out of demons (exorcisms) was the norm in my ministry. 

I believed I was anointed (chosen) specifically by God to break Satan's hold off of the lives of the many victims I believed to have helped in those days. They passed out at my words, a wave of the hand, a tap on the shoulder etc. I felt I was filled with the Spirit of God to carry out these amazing feats. I never once dreamed that I was living a lie or deluded. But it was these many experiences that served as evidence and convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was with me and I was doing his will. Any attempt by anyone to tell me otherwise no matter how rational their argument was was seen as an attack not by that individual or group but rather by the Devil and his cohorts. 

12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
Ephesians 6:12 NIV

Fundamentalist are often warned by their church elders to never let anyone try to convince you of the falsity of your faith. I used to view any attempt to change my mind about my beliefs as nothing more than people being used by demons and their many wiles to draw me away from God. If you weren't with us you were against us and I in turn was against you. 


  1. Thank you for this, it reminds me that nothing I can say, no evidence I can provide, will change the minds of my family. It doesn't matter how well I live my life or how many people I help, as far as they are concerned I am hell bound and dragging my family down with me. I was able to escape a lifetime of brainwashing, but I am alone. My sister hates religion, but still wants to believe in "God". My husband is the same. Only my daughter and myself understand it's all bullshit. It is not as easy place to be. It is like the verse "I was blind but now I see". Clarity is beautiful. Life is far more precious to me now. I am a kinder, gentler human, and I do not regret my awakening in spite of the cost.

    1. Thanks for your comments Jane. I too am to my knowledge the only atheist in my entire family. It took me 6 years to overcome the "fear of the Lord" that once dominated my life. Where I came from hell was very real and the thought of being wrong and going there terrified me for some time.

      I had a slew of so called spiritual or paranormal experiences that I had to debunk before I could completely walk away. But once I was able to do that I was completely free. Like yourself I too agree that my life is even better since I have freed my mind and escaped the clutches of inane religious beliefs.

      My favorite Bible quote that relates to my liberation, although in it's context means something else is found in 1 Corinthians 13:11

      11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

      I feel that I have literally outgrown religious beliefs and superstitious fairytales.

    2. Yes, thanks, I like Jane's blindness verse and your childishness one, but my favourite is 'the truth shall set you free' I've never felt so liberated as I do after leaving the stifling chains of fundy-ism

    3. I too love that verse in John 8:32 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I too felt like the world was lifted off of my shoulders the moment I realized that my beliefs were nothing more than false ancient myths and superstitions that had no relevance to the real world.

  2. I have met others with convictions as strong and powerful as those you describe. What I don't understand is how those convictions were planted in the first place. As one who has always been a skeptic (even during those high school youth church group years), I hope this series of articles will go into that issue. It is one of those debilitating human issues that needs to be addressed.

    1. There are many reasons why people become so heavily indoctrinated. For me personally it was the physical sensations I felt when I prayed, ministered to someone, etc. The more it happened the more I wanted to feel it and intensify it. It was to me a sign that I was on the right track and getting closer and closer to God.

  3. From your descriptions of your experiences, it sounds like you were never Christian in the first place, as many of the things you describe do not match up with a true Christian's experience. It seems as if you merely changed one self-indulged religion for another.

    1. Just like a "true" Christian you don't fail to disappoint. Aside from the fact that thiests are mostly hypocrites about what they believe and how they live you are all judgemental.

      No one has the right to question my level of commitment to my beliefs. I had a ministry that ran for four years. I prayed, fasted, preached on the weekends on the streets and in churches.

      I tried my best to live a Christ like life not just preaching but practicing what I preached. According to the N.T. allegedly in the words of Christ it is not about saying you believe but in acting like you believe by obeying his word.

      If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15

      It's not just about reading the bible it's about making it your guide to life and I did that as best as I could.

      "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

      Luke 6:37

      So, obey your gods word and don't judge me.