This article is about my journey from Christian to non-Christian, believer to unbeliever. Regardless of what you think about God, Jesus, Christianity, or religion, I ask you to put that aside for a moment and open your mind.
This article may offend you but that is not my intention.
My intention is simply to explore the key teachings of Jesus, whilst calling Christianity like I see it.
Why I became a Christian
Firstly, I didn’t grow up in a Christian or religious household.
Neither of my parents were Christians, nor did they have any interest in religion.
It wasn’t until my father divorced my mother and remarried a Christian woman when I was 11 that he converted to Christianity and started talking to me about God, Jesus and the Bible. At that point he started forcing me to go to church with him and my stepmother whenever I would see them every 2nd weekend.
I found the Bible and Church incredibly boring but I still became a Christian anyway.
HEAVEN VS HELL
I felt like I had no real choice in the matter. I was scared of death and my father and stepmother told me in no uncertain terms that I would go to hell for eternity if I didn’t become a Christian.
Christian = Heaven. Not becoming a Christian = Hell.
Infinite pleasure vs infinite pain.
What would you choose? It seemed like a no-brainer.
THE BIBLE ANSWERED THE BIG QUESTIONS
The Bible seemed to answer the big questions I had:
- Why are we here?
- What is the meaning of life?
- What happens when we die?
No one seemed to know.
The only place I found answers to these questions was in the Bible.
THIS IS NO ACCIDENT
I disagreed with Atheist logic.
If there isn’t a God – how did we get here?
Did the Universe just pop into existence for no reason?
Did the world just create itself?
Is mankind an accident?
I don’t think so.
The odds are too astronomically impossible. Clearly we were created. A creation needs a creator. Therefore God must be real.
THE LAWS OF NATURE
We live in a universe that operates according to laws: Gravity. Mathematics. Physics. The speed of light etc. How did these laws get here? These laws are way too precise to have been an accident. There had to have been a law giver. Another sign of the existence of God.
THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS
The teachings of Jesus intuitively felt right to me. Do to others as you would have them do to you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Be good. Don’t do evil. How can anyone argue with that?
NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES
What about the thousands of people who have had near death experiences that have seen Heaven or Hell or even met Jesus?
Were they all lying?
Were they all crazy or delusional?
Is everyone making it up?
I don’t think so.
And who knows more about what happens after death than the people who have died already and experienced a taste of the afterlife – however briefly?
WHAT I BELIEVED
Beliefs differ from Christian to Christian but here’s what I believed:
- I believed the Bible was the literal word of God, inerrant and infallible, and contained God’s message to mankind
- I believed in God, Satan, Angels, Demons, Heaven, Hell, the creation story, Noah’s ark, Jesus performing miracles and everything else in the Bible
- I believed that literally 99.99% of everyone who had ever lived was going to hell. Unbeliever? Hell. Gay? Hell. Believer in God but went to the ‘wrong’ church? Hell. Didn’t even get a chance to hear the gospel because it was never preached to you? Hell.
My Father believed in Biblical prophecy and told me when I was 11 years old in 1991:
- Jesus would return/the world would end in the year 2000 (9 years away)
- Before then the ‘Antichrist’ would appear, a powerful political figure who would lead a one world government and start killing/persecuting Christians forcing them into hiding and try to wipe them from the earth
- Everyone on earth would soon be forced to accept the “mark of the beast”, an invisible bar code which would be imprinted on your forehead or right hand without which no one would be able to buy or sell
PS: If you refused the “mark of the beast” (the mark of Satan) your head would be CUT OFF.
Why did my father tell me these things?
Because he believed it.
He was very confident about it too. Almost smug with an arrogant sense of certainty.
Unfortunately because I was only 11 years old I was still gullible and naive myself and didn’t yet possess the necessary critical thinking skills to be able to sort fact from fiction and challenge the lies and nonsense I was being brainwashed with.
I believed it all.
Even though it was bullshit.
What I was like as a Christian
I was a Christian for all of my teenage years. Approximately from the ages of 13-20.
I didn’t just believe Christianity – I was obsessed with it.
I was hard core.
- I read the Bible every day for hours
- I prayed several times a day
- I was baptized in a river
- I went to a youth group during the week and to church on Sundays
- I listened to Christian music (DC Talk was my favorite band) and Christian radio
- I watched Christian TV and enjoyed listening to televangelists preach
- I read Christian books and magazines – especially about biblical prophecies, spiritual/supernatural/near death experiences and the end of the world, I especially liked Rick Joyner’s book The Final Quest and was terrified by Mary K. Baxter’s book A Divine Revelation of Hell
- I was obsessed with sin. I wouldn’t lie. I wouldn’t drink. I wouldn’t even swear.
- I preached to almost everyone I knew and I fought constantly with my family on my mothers side (mother, sister and grandparents) asking them why they wouldn’t convert to Christianity. Didn’t they want to go to Heaven? Did they want to go to hell? Why wouldn’t they just confess their sins and admit they were wrong and be done with it? PS: I told my Nana “These are the final days!” and she scoffed and said “They were saying that when I was a girl!”
- I planned on going to Bible College to become a pastor or a missionary
- I was willing to die for God/Jesus
Note: I wouldn’t have killed for God/Jesus though like we see so many piece of shit Islamic terrorists doing today in the name of Allah because the Bible teaches “You shall not murder” Exodus 20:13
My Nana told me not to take Christianity “too seriously” which was ridiculous to me. As far as I was concerned it was either true or it wasn’t and you either believed it or you didn’t. If people were going to hell they needed to be saved and if they weren’t Christianity was a lie.
As C.S Lewis said in his famous book “Mere Christianity” you couldn’t just pass Jesus off as a great moral teacher, because someone who said the kinds of things that Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher – he would either be insane or evil, or telling the truth, and you had to decide for yourself what it was.
What was Jesus to you?
- A cult leader
- A crazy person
- A liar and a deceiver
- The Son of God
The biggest problem with Christianity: Christians
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” – Brennan Manning
I started to have doubts that something wasn’t right about Christianity when I was 18. It wasn’t the Bible or the beliefs I had a problem with though, it was the Christians.
The Bible spoke about Christians filled with the Holy Spirit who could heal the sick, raise the dead, speak in tongues, perform miracles etc. But I’d never seen any of that stuff. Where were the healings? Where were the miracles? Where was Jesus? Where was God?
All I saw was a bunch of liars and hypocrites. People that said one thing and did another. People that didn’t obey the commandments and didn’t live the life. People that did whatever they wanted to do, and then prayed for forgiveness afterwards. In fact, I saw no real difference between the way the average Christian lived their lives and an unbeliever.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46
Jesus prayed “not my will but yours be done” – Luke 22:42, but every ‘Christian’ I knew prayed for their will to be done.
In fact, most Christians prayed for things like a child asking Santa for presents at Christmas time:
- A new car
- A new house
- A new man
- A “miracle”
- A “blessing”
- An “anointing”
(The last three words in quotation marks are code words Christians use to ask God for money similar to the way new age ‘spiritual’ types use the words “abundance” and “manifesting” to try to make their greed sound spiritual).
I felt sad when I left Christianity because I felt like I’d lost my identity and my life no longer seemed to have any meaning or purpose. I felt so frustrated.
What I didn’t understand was: If Christians believed the Bible was true, why didn’t they act like it?
Looking back now however, I understand why the faith of most Christians is so weak.
How much certainty can you really have about something you’ve never seen?
99.99% of Christians have never seen God/Jesus/a miracle – or anything spiritual or supernatural. That’s just stuff they read about in the Bible. But it’s not a part of their daily experience.
There’s also a massive disconnect between what they read in the Bible and what they experience day to day.
- When they ask – they don’t receive
- When they’re in trouble – God doesn’t come
- When they pray – they don’t hear anything
Just silence. It’s like God’s not even there.
It’s not like a lot of church leaders are leading by example either:
Ted Haggard, pastor of the 14, 000 member New Life Church in Colorado, spent years preaching to his church about the evils of homosexuality, whilst he was secretly taking crystal meth and having sex with male prostitutes.
Juan McFarland, pastor of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Alabama, took drugs and had sex with members of his church – inside the church – without telling them he had AIDS.
Louis Lamonica, pastor of the Hosanna Church in Louisiana, walked into a police station and confessed to raping more than 25 children between the ages of 4-16 inside the church, teaching the children to have sex with each other, and to having sex with dogs and sacrificing animals and drinking their blood in a variety of satanic ceremonies he was secretly practicing inside the church.
This list doesn’t even scratch the surface nor does it include the thousands of Catholic Priests who have raped and molested children worldwide for decades – if not centuries.
“The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan. Many people don’t like that statement, but few can argue with it.” – Carl Sagan,
Then you’ve got these blatant liars and charlatans claiming to have talked to God, seen the future, been visited by an Angel etc.
I saw a pastor from Zimbabwe on YouTube the other day claiming to be talking to God on the telephone…
How dumb do you have to be to believe this?
This pastor also claims to have walked on water.
Then you’ve got this Pastor Alph Lukau pretending to raise people from the dead:
Unfortunately the ‘resurrected’ man in this video died shortly after in suspicious circumstances after being poisoned…
Then you’ve got pastor Mboro who tried to sell photos from his apparent visit to Heaven: Prophet Mboro tries to sell fake photos of Heaven
Then you’ve also got these dickhead televangelist preachers like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and whoever the fuck this guy is preaching the ‘prosperity gospel’ trying to convince gullible Christians that the way to become rich is to give your money away to the church by ‘planting a seed of your faith’.
Why not start with a $1, 000 donation?
Or fake faith healers like Benny Hinn ‘healing’ people through the power of the ‘Holy Spirit’
WOW! Look how powerful Benny Hinn is! He just knocked out hundreds of people!
Praise the lord!
These Televangelist preachers make millions of dollars each year and some are worth upwards of $100 Million Dollars. They live lives of luxury in multi-million dollar mansions and even have their own private jets. They love money and they conveniently ignore Jesus teachings on it:
“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Matthew 19:23-34, Luke 18:25
Then you’ve got people who actually think they are Jesus like this guy from South Australia:
Or this guy from Siberia:
Anywho, after becoming more and more disillusioned I slowly gave up on Christianity when I realized I’d never met a single Christian that met the Biblical definition.
Even when I visited Jerusalem in 2014 to see the places where Jesus and the Old Testament prophets lived and preached I was shocked by how un-‘holy’ and un-‘spiritual’ the priests working in the churches were. Most were just shitty old men who seemed to hate life and hate people and didn’t want to be there.
Yep, there is something seriously fucked up in the world of Christianity and religion.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi
We’re almost at the teachings of Jesus but let’s briefly talk about the Bible for a second…
Anyone that paints the Bible as:
- The greatest book ever written
- Childish nonsense/a load of crap
…is being unreasonable.
First of all the Bible is not a book. Nor did God write it. The Bible is a combination of 66 books written by 44 different authors over a period of 1500 years. Of course it’s going to contradict itself.
It’s difficult to have an objective conversation about the Bible because Atheists refuse to see any good in it, and Christians refuse to see any bad.
In fact, Christians will take the side of the Bible even when it contradicts logic, reason and common sense, and they’ll come up with ridiculous far fetched explanations as to why it’s not wrong – even when it clearly is, so they can continue to believe it’s the greatest book ever written.
Most Christians believe every word they read in the Bible no matter what. When a Christian reads the words “Jesus walked on water” they don’t doubt it for a second. They simply believe it: “WOW! So that’s what happened! Awesome!”
If the very next line of the Bible read “Jesus levitated above the water”, or “Jesus began to fly”, Christians would believe that too. Why? Because they’ve been taught to believe the Bible is the word of God (as if God wrote it himself), and is therefore infallible and perfect in every way. It’s the greatest, smartest, wisest book ever written. Case closed. The end.
In reality the Bible is a mixture of fact and fiction. There’s definitely a lot of truth and wisdom in there, but there’s also a bunch of nonsense. Most of the Bible is also boring, irrelevant and tedious – even for most Christians.
Not that they’ll ever admit it.
Where I disagree with Christianity
Although I like many of Jesus teachings there are many things I disagree with about Christianity.
I don’t believe the mainstream Christian narrative about Jesus.
I don’t believe Jesus was/is the only way to God.
I don’t believe the Bible is the word of God.
I don’t believe we need a savior.
I think Christianity has too much of a focus on the past and the afterlife instead of on the present and the NOW. The attitude of the Bible and many Christians (and Muslims) seems to be “it doesn’t matter if my life sucks now – because I’ll have riches in Heaven.”
Jesus said: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” Matthew 6: 25
I used to believe this but now I disagree because what you eat and drink and wear has a major affect on how you think and feel and what you project and attract energetically. (Thanks to Ayahuasca for teaching me this.) If you look good – you will feel good. If you eat healthy – your body and mind will thank you.
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20 – Does anyone really believe this? Being poor isn’t a blessing – it’s a curse. Life sucks without money. Without money you have no options. You can’t do anything. You can’t go anywhere. Christians know this and that’s why they pray to God for money, it’s just that they use the code words “blessing” or “miracle”.
If any Christian really thinks it’s a blessing to be poor or that “money is the root of all evil” 1 Timothy 6:10, they should give away all of their money and sell all of their possessions just like Jesus said and then they will have riches in heaven. But they don’t because they don’t really believe it.
Finally I think too many Christians take a passive approach to life and sit around doing nothing relying on God to magically solve their problems instead of taking action and realizing that “God helps those who help themselves”.
Questions for Christians
Here are some questions I would like to ask Christians:
- If God wants everyone to believe in him, why doesn’t he just appear to everyone and show himself instead of hiding from everyone?
- Why doesn’t God just speak for himself and clear up all of the confusion?
- Why doesn’t God/Jesus ever speak to you audibly?
- What proof do you have that the Bible is the word of God?
- Why does God need human sacrifices in order to forgive us?
- Why did God need Jesus to die for our sins? Couldn’t he just forgive us anyway?
- If demonic possession is real – where are all the demon possessed people today? Aren’t they just people with mental illnesses/schizophrenia?
- Have you warned everyone you know about hell? If not, why not?
- What happens to a baby if it dies or is aborted? Does it go to hell for eternity?
- What about the billions of people that lived on earth in the times prior to Jesus or in the other 195 countries (99% of the world) where the gospel was never preached that have never heard the gospel? Do they all go to hell?
- Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” Matthew 21:21 – Do you really believe that?
- Jesus said: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:12-14 – Do you believe you will do even greater things than Jesus? e.g. performing miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead, walking on water etc. If not, is it because Jesus was lying, mistaken or misquoted?
- Jesus said “Truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 16:23 – Do you really believe this? If so, why not pray to God for a cure for AIDS or cancer? Why not pray to God to end world hunger?
- Jesus said: “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.” Luke 14:12-14 – Have you done this yet? If not why not?
- Jesus said: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” Luke 12:33 – Have you done it yet? If not why not?
- If Jesus is God and knew he was going to go to heaven why was he afraid to die?
- Jesus said to his disciples that he would come back to earth within “this generation” but he didn’t (Mt 24.32-34; cf. Mk 13.28-30; Lk 21.29-32). It’s been over 2, 000 years and he still hasn’t come back. Have you considered the possibility that maybe he’s not going to come back? Is it possible that maybe he was wrong, misunderstood or misquoted?
The Greatest Teachings of Jesus
OK, I think that’s enough destruction of Christianity and religion. It’s not all bad. Some of the teachings of Jesus were absolutely brilliant.
I simply wanted to make a point of giving Christians and Christianity a reality check because although I like the teachings of Jesus, I’m not a Christian, and I like to keep it real.
The Golden Rule
The golden rule of Christianity is this:
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Matthew 7:12, Luke 6: 31
Speak to others the way you would like to be spoken to.
Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.
It’s so simple and if more people acted this way the world would probably be like heaven on earth.
The 2 greatest commandments
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:35-40
The two greatest commandments according to Jesus:
- Love God
- Love everyone else
Jesus even instructed his disciples to love their enemies:
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.” – Luke 6:27-29, 32-35
Take up your cross
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. – Luke 14:26-27,33
This is something you won’t hear from your pastor in church or the televangelist on TV because it’s not what people want to hear, but it’s one of my favorite Bible verses because it’s so uncompromising.
Most Christians want to believe that going to church on Sundays, reading the Bible, and asking Jesus to forgive them for their sins, makes them a Christian but it doesn’t.
Being a Christian means actually being a follower of Jesus and obeying his commandments, dying to your old life, and being willing to put the will of God above your own.
Jesus did everything God wanted him to do – even if it meant dying. But Christians don’t deny themselves. They don’t put God first. Nor do most of them follow Jesus teachings. Instead they put themselves first and do whatever they want, and then they pray to God for forgiveness later.
Being a Christian comes down to this: You will either serve the will of your ego or the will of God. You will either put God first or you will put yourself first.
Don’t be a hypocrite
“Why worry about the speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:3-5
If there was one thing Jesus didn’t like it was hypocrites.
He spent a lot of his time condemning the hypocritical religious leaders of the day the pharisees, who were remarkably quite like the religious leaders of this day.
One of the biggest problems with the world today is that everyone wants to change everyone else, but no one wants to change themselves.
In fact, some of the most delusional and fucked up people I’ve ever met are counsellors, psychologists and social workers. The profession seems to attract a certain type of mentality that wants to solve everyone else’s problems but their own.
If you must find fault with someone, start with yourself because that’s the only person you can change.
Don’t be a hypocrite. Practice what you preach.
Forget about everyone else and what they’re doing or not doing.
What are you doing? What are your problems? What do you need to change?
Don’t judge others/Forgive
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 6:37
This is a teaching I’ve disobeyed frequently over and over again my whole life.
I’ve judged others harshly, viciously, and I’ve often had a hard time forgiving.
Don’t get me wrong: I can easily forgive someone who is genuinely sorry, but conscious evil… evil that was done with the intent to hurt, myself or others, I do not forgive. I do not forgive people who are NOT sorry.
But Jesus taught forgiveness to his disciples and he even forgave Judas his own disciple who betrayed him.
He even forgave the people that killed him as they were doing it.
Although forgiveness is a weakness of mine, I’ve learnt one secret to forgiveness over the years that has worked wonders for me…
Don’t have anything to forgive in the first place.
Here’s what I mean: The next time someone offends you, let it go the moment it happens instead of analyzing it to death and letting it build up into something big in your mind. That way you won’t have anything to forgive in the first place. If you think about it: “I forgive” or “I don’t forgive” is just a thought you identify with.
Confucius put it best: “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”
This isn’t a commandment found in the Bible but it’s a great question for anyone to ask themselves even if you’re not a Christian and you can replace Jesus with anyone you respect.
What would Jesus do?
What would Krishna do?
What would Buddha do?
What would Gandhi do?
What would Oprah do?
What would (insert your hero or role model) do?
I don’t know anything about Jesus. Neither do you.
All I know is what I’ve read. All I think is just my imagination. Everything I believe is just an opinion. And that’s the problem: We can’t speak to Jesus to ask him any questions to clarify anything. All we have to go by is what someone else wrote about him thousands of years ago which may or may not be true.
We don’t know what he looked like, what he sounded like, what his personality was like, what he really said, what he really did, or anything else.
Christians don’t like to admit that but it’s true.
Did Jesus really perform miracles, heal the sick, raise the dead and walk on water?
How would I know? I wasn’t there 2, 000 years ago. Neither were you.
I think 99.99% of so called “Christians” wouldn’t be followers of Jesus if they lived in his time or if he appeared today. They like to think they would but they wouldn’t.
It’s easy to believe anything you want to believe about someone you’ve never met who lived 2, 000 years ago, but imagine if some Jewish guy came up to you today and told you that he was the “Son of God” and “the Savior of mankind” and told you to quit your job and leave your family/friends/husband/wife/children and come follow him… Would you do it? Probably not.
I think religions are prisons. Mental prisons. They close your mind, brainwash you with delusional childish fantasies, and manipulate you with the fear of hell and eternal damnation instead of encouraging you to think for yourself and to see the world the way it really is.
I think most religious people are delusional and these quotes put it nicely:
“The problem with religion, because it’s been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.” – Sam Harris
“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.” – Robert M. Pirsig
“You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.” – Carl Sagan
I think instead of teaching our children Christianity/Judaism/Islam or any other religion, we should teach them critical thinking skills and allow them to make their own minds up instead of trying to indoctrinate them or fear monger them with threats of hell and eternal damnation if they don’t believe.
“Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence and how to disagree with you.” – Richard Dawkins
I think Heaven and Hell are the reason most people are Christians. Without the fear of death and hell and the promise of heaven and the afterlife, what reason would the average person have to believe?
Finally: I think Christianity is an ancient, primitive, fear based form of religion, based on an imaginary angry God (who Christians call a loving God) who never appears to anyone, never talks to anyone, never says anything, but demands that we believe in him – or else we burn in hell for eternity. Thankfully, I don’t think there is any evidence to support this.
You can read my follow up to this article here: 13x Jesus was wrong in the Bible
This is one of my favorite stand-up comedy videos on the BS of religion:
Without a doubt, The Atheist Experience with Matt Dillahunty is one of the best ways to see the stupidity of religious arguments getting shot down:
Jesus crucifixion image credit: Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.com Jesus in Heaven image credit: Bill Perry / Shutterstock.com