Okay, the title is a little deceiving because I’m not really better now, but notice that this is only Part 1. I am hopeful that by the time I get to part 10, I actually will be, better now, that is. This is the story of my journey out of religion. Right now, I’m writing for my own well being, but secretly I hope that someday some one who is where I am right now will happen upon my book (a best seller, by the way) and be comforted and encouraged by it, as I have been from others who have gone before me.
I’m not really sure when this journey truly began, but I have this one memory that is pretty vivid to me: I’m sitting in an adult Sunday school class. We are studying some Bible character and how he chose evil over good, because he was “fallen” and how when Adam and Eve sinned they brought evil into the whole world. I wasn’t really paying attention to the lesson; I found myself wondering where evil had come from. I thought if God made everything and he knew everything, how could evil have been there in the first place and if it was there, then God must have made it, right? Confident that our fearless and godly leader would know the answer, I inquired, “Where did evil come from anyway?” There was a long pause; do I hear crickets? Then there it was, the “deer in the headlights” look, it’s a look I will become very accustomed to seeing. He said, “Well, evil has just always been.” “Oh,” I said. “So, who created evil then?” Deer in the headlights look again…”Um, well, it came into being when Eve chose to give into temptation. She had free will.” “Right,” I said. “Okay, but did evil enter under God’s radar and if it did, how can God know everything then, couldn’t other things get past him then? If, in fact, he did create it knowing all along that man could not stand against it…that would be worse, right?” Squinty deer in the headlights look, “You know there are just some things that are a mystery and that’s not really what the lesson’s about today, so…”
I remember feeling so stupid, like I was the “different” one. You know, there’s always one in every group, the weirdo that is always going off subject. That’s what I felt like, but the question still nagged at me and I would study and study to try to find out what the answer was. By the way, there isn’t one. As I went on in my evangelical Christian life, many more questions would crop up and remain unanswered. It appears in the Christian community there are a lot of people that are satisfied with those unanswered questions. I am not. Evidently “god” didn’t make me that way. I’ve always been one to question things. Some would call me negative, but really I have a very positive outlook on life, I just don’t go with the flow very easily or often and when everyone is just nodding their heads and going along, I’m the one to stop and say, “Hey, wait a minute, why are we doing this? Is this really such a good idea? What about this or that?” Some might stop and say, “You know maybe this isn’t such a good idea, let’s look into this a bit more.” Then there are others, many others, who don’t want to open their eyes and look around. They just continue on, thinking, “Why is she such a downer?” Some think that I suddenly rejected Christianity—that I just woke up one day and thought, hmmm…I think I’ll give up Jesus. Well, it hasn’t been sudden–not at all. It’s been little things along the way and then some very huge painful things that when I started to add them up, they didn’t.
Right now my life is in flux. To be honest, I’m not coping very well with losing my faith, and the people around me aren’t coping very well with the changes they are seeing in me, but I know, I know deep down, that eventually, I will be better and the title of this post will be the truth, rather than a dream.