by Greensboro Atheist Org member, True Anathema
Since I “lost my faith,” I have been experiencing a profound sense of freedom and peace and it seems strange to me that it is almost as if I have experienced a religious conversion. I have heard others talk about their “salvation,” with the exact date and hour it happened. I don’t have that, and since I was “saved” at the tender age of four, I really only remember what my parents have told me about it. I would envy other Christians so much, with that distinctive before and after to their lives. Before sin and after sin. Now I don’t have to envy them so much anymore because I now have my own before and after. Here’s the snapshot.
Before unbelief there was condemnation, worry, self loathing, anxiety, fear, and disappointment with myself and others. As much as I wanted to measure up to Christ’s exortation to “be ye perfect as I am perfect,” even if I took that word perfect to mean mature and growing, as theologians often teach, I still fell short, and so did everyone else in my life.
Now I don’t look upon my actions or the actions or shortcomings of those in my life as sin. They are just actions. They don’t define who they are and they certainly don’t define their eternal path or worth. There’s no judgement. There’s just the way things are.
The scriptures I used to read and gain comfort from have been turned upside down and now they read more like a fairy tale. I am looking at everything through new lenses and I am astonished at how easy it was to just let it all go.As I wrote in a previous post, this hasn’t happened overnight, but the effect, when it did happen, seemed almost instantaneous.
I still have these voices in my head: scriptures, sermon snippets, and this Christian language that still comes out of my mouth every now and then. I am finding that a lot of things I believed and said weren’t my own thoughts at all. They were thoughts and writings of others, and I had subsituted them for my own.
Since I have realized this, a flood of thoughts and ideas has smashed down the borders of my mind, my abilitites, and my expectency for the future. It’s wide open. No more green pastures for me with fences and a benevolant shepherd to protect me from myself. There’s so much acreage out here in this big beautiful wide world and I’m having so much fun trying to figure out where to go first!