Like many people in America, I was raised by Christian parents. Though we weren’t Catholic, the “church thing” was rigid and heavy in our household, but that didn’t stop me from being an avid reader of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. This activity led me down varying paths that, in conjunction with my knowledge of the Bible, I also became versed in Pagan, Wicca and all sorts of Occult literature (much to the dismay of my parents).
As I aged, things happened to me that made me decide, “You know what, I need to make a decision. I need to make a commitment to my spiritual beliefs.”
And so I plunged headlong into the rigor of simply “being Christian,” because I thought that was the right thing to do.
I wasn’t very successful, partly because I ALWAYS hated church, and also because I found many of the people within the Christian community to be glossy-eyed wierdos that gave me the creeps. At any rate, I was determined to set these things aside and pursue my own personal brand of believing. What did it matter what others thought. I thus became a sort of the, “I’m spiritual but not religious type” with a scholarly edge on biblical teaching.
One day, after I got out of chapel, I strolled to a local convenience store to get a soda. The man of Islam behind the counter, acknowledging how I was dressed, figured I’d just gotten out of church. The subject of religion arose and quickly, like a flash of lightning he asked, “You believe in God?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I believe in Jesus, he died for our sins, right?”
“No,” he blurted. “We worship same God, no Jesus.”
“But Jesus is God,” I insisted. “What you’re talking about is not the same.”
“No,” he stated in a matter-of-fact way, waving his arm around. “Same God, no Jesus.”
Marveled, I left wondering, How could this be?
Henceforth began my journey towards enlightenment. I spent many months following this encounter with the Islamic man, building upon my previous biblical research to locate exactly what defines the Jesus figure over non-Christian belief systems.
It was a rocky road.
When I first experienced the Internet, I then tried to espouse my viewpoints based on my research, on Atheist boards, only to find some unsettling responses.
I kept trudging, undaunted, determined to insist that what I was believing, was the truth. I spent hours researching why Jesus is God, and why Islam is unfounded, that particular religion coming along so many years afterwards being one of them. But this was not enough. I found a multitude of other reasons, but ultimately, what I encountered was: that the things within the Bible itself weren’t adding up. I was in denial about discrepancies and was slow to wholly realize. I was clinging to something I didn’t want to let go of, but somehow felt queasy about lingering in that state.
Then I had an epiphany. I realized, that in all my dabbling with Pagan and Occult practices, in all my escapades out in the world, in all my prayers and all my church moments of devotion, I had never–ever–once–experienced anything supernatural.
I started thinking about the world. I saw the trees, people walking, cars driving around…nothing supernatural. I’d wake up from strange dreams, my room pitch black…no ghosts. I’d think about déjà vu and premonitions, and realize the invalidity, the enzymes of the brain accounting for much; this in conjunction with my knowledge of psychiatry which told me much of how the brain is essentially a neural miasma of impulses that guide how we think and live.
As I see the matter, when the follower of Islam’s words put me to the task of showing why Jesus is supposed to be the authentic way, this set in motion the events that showed me, Christianity…and religion in general, doesn’t add up.
Religions evolved during an age when religions and gods and myths were all the rage, the lack of science allowing for the prevalence of supernatural explanations. This in conjunction with the idea that, a guru with the right rhetorical skills can accomplish much.
What’s funny about the whole thing is, when I was younger, I didn’t really believe. I had to go through quite a road, thanks to the way religion lingers in society, to finally realize the truth.
There is no God.