My Dad Is A Priest

My Dad Is A Priest, But Surprise, I'm An Atheist

After 19 years of being raised as a believer, the only thing I am sure about is that there is no God at all.

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I feel like every high school has that guy who is always super active, always makes stupid jokes, and is always ready to party. My friend was like that. He was always down for any stupid or fun thing. And I remember one time hanging out we had a discussion about parents when suddenly he goes: "Oh, my dad is actually a priest."

What?

He told us that although he was raised in a religious family, he didn't believe in God at all. He said his parents have dedicated all their lives to the Orthodox Church, and tried to educate him the same way and make him a faithful believer. But after these 19 years, the only thing that he is sure about now is that there is no God.

"Every little thing that was happening in this world was a God's plan in my parents' eyes. Every day would start with a prayer where we thank God for life, food, and anything good that's going to happen to us. Growing up in the atmosphere of endless fasts, commandments, and attending church services, little me didn't have time even to doubt this kind of life's arrangements.

"I was always supervised by my parents at those times. My mom used to be a principal of a Sunday school, which I, of course, attended. The Sunday school's mission is to teach children how to be faithful. It works just like the normal schools do, but the subjects do vary. We were taught the Church Slavic language, the Laws of God, the Old and the New Testament, the orchestra. We even had a gospel class, where we were taught to sing in a choir at the church. Basically, we were taught everything that young churchmen need to know.

"I was playing with all the kids after and between classes like in normal schools, but most of the non-religious themes were prohibited. We all were scared that if we talk about something else we will be punished by the 'powers from the above'. I did really believe in that.

"Teachers were pretty good in persuading us that God is everywhere. The whole class would repeat in unison that God sees everything, knows everything – he is charitable and sinless.

"As a result, we were scared even to think about breaking any rules. We were obligated to pray before every meal, we couldn't miss any of the church services, couldn't condemn our parents or teachers, be aggressive any time, even to protect ourselves, because 'The Lord Jesus says if you're struck on your right cheek, you offer your left' (Holy Bible).

"It was perfect for handling kids. We were scared of punishment even when we knew no one could see us. We remembered – God knows everything.

"As time went by and we became the grown-ups, we started to notice our parents' or other adults' flaws. None of them were following all of the commandments as we did; they didn't have that fear of the 'Supreme.' Even my parents that were iconic to me allowed themselves to have their hands in their pockets while being at church or leave the services to talk on the phone. They could eat all they wanted, skip fasts, or even smoke. Watching them, I lost my aspiration in following all the rules perfectly. It seemed unfair that they could be freer but I couldn't. So I started giving myself indulgences…

"For example, one of the real orthodox believer's obligations was the oblation in front of Him every Sunday morning. Every single person had to come to the church early with an empty stomach and tell all of his/her sins in order to be forgiven. And it made me sick how many 'faithful' adults used it as the excuse for not following God's rules. Not to mention how many times the money donated to the church was stolen. They would sin and then just ask for forgiveness and become sinless again.

"When I started realizing all those things, my life started changing."

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If You're A Millennial Christian, You Definitely Have A Relationship With Christ And These 19 Other Things

“Every Christian shall be addicted to La Croix” – John 3:16
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1. A lowkey tattoo



Probably on your ankle or wrist. Bonus points if it’s scripture or a cross.

2. Birkenstocks

You’re extra Christian if you wear them with socks.

3. A church camp fling

I don't know if it’s the fellowship or the fact that it’s never really allowed, but Christians LOVE a good camp romance.

4. Extra long Patagonia shorts

Modest is ALWAYS hottest

5. XL shirts (even though you probably would fit into a small)

Shirt or a dress? The world will never know… good thing you have those extra long Patagonia shorts!

6. A thicc study bible

So what if you never actually read the stuff at the bottom? The font is big and the bigger the Bible the closer to heaven, right?

7. Hipster glasses

Because apparently freedom in Christ means freedom from contacts

8. A large collection of Christian books

"Love Does," "Not a Fan," "Redeeming Love," "Popular," and "Everybody Always" are on pre-order. We have them all and copies to give to our friends

9. A nose ring

Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we can’t be ~edgy~

10. "Jesus Calling"

It likely sits by your bedside table at home, and you read it a few times a year.

11. La Croix

“Every Christian shall be addicted to La Croix.” –John 3:16

12. A Young Life t-shirt

Whether you have dabbled in Young Life or can name all the camps in a single breath, everyone owns one!

13. The skill to create a killer Instagram story

Spending time in the Word = Spending time creating some sick instastories for the followers. Simple.

14. A Jeep, Subaru, or Suburban

Squad rolls up to church in style

15. A deep love for podcasts or a sermon series.

Did someone say The Porch? Elevation? Passion?

16. A one-piece swimsuit

Two types of people in this world: people who try to make a one-piece cute and people who rock the OG Speedo

17. The Church Clap

It’s not a Christian party until the church clap breaks out. The Holy Spirit loves to dance!

18. A social media cleanse

Whether you gave it up for lent or just felt compelled to give it up for a season, everyone has done it. Bonus points if you alerted your followers about it beforehand in a super long post. Bonus bonus points if it ended after a week.

19. Chacos

Single strapped or double. Toe strap or none. We don’t discriminate!

20. A relationship with Jesus Christ

Although it's funny to make fun of the random stuff a lot of Christians do (and don’t do), what really matters is our relationship with Jesus. I know a lot of Christians who don’t fit this stereotype, and that is totally okay! Doing these things isn’t going make you a better Christian, but spending time in the Bible every day will!

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Rose Fuller

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The Truth About Politics In Religion And How It Affects Our Relationship With God

They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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It's evident that religion can and has been used in politics from the values of voters and leaders. However, to use your religion or your relationship with God for making political decisions doesn't share the same meaning.

I've always loved finding all the best facts and research for argumentative work but I couldn't pursue that approach for this topic. Why? Because I've experienced the pattern in my relationship with God of how God defies logic.

God can't be contained to a definition or explanation. I liked the way I've heard one leader express that, "If you hear someone trying to explain to God as if he knows then he's a fool before he starts talking". That's a paradox within itself.

I've learned more recently to identify that the two sides of the paradox that you might wrestle with in understanding God are both true. That, yes, His hands are big and He knows exactly what to do to make you surrender but you'll also find no greater love than with Him because He has the biggest heart and knows what you need better than you do.

I think that accepting this paradox will differentiate between those that view politics religiously versus those that view it from 'what is God trying to do here'? The one that focuses on seeking 'what is God trying to do here?' would represent those with a relationship with God. This doesn't mean that referencing the laws of God exempts you from having a relationship but the love of God is the strength that sustains the relationship over the law. This is also a bit of a paradox because they're both important in Christianity.

There's the difference from seeing God as one-sided which is very prideful, limiting and incorrect compared to recognizing that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

I believe that what we believe and how we see God will bring limitations or provision on how we can be used in God's plan for His kingdom on earth when it comes to the way the world is run.

God, our relationship with God and the law of God all have to be considered in the things we do as Christians.

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