I Was Once A Christian, But Hypocrisy Turned Me Agnostic

I Was Once A Christian, But Hypocrisy Turned Me Agnostic

But, I am not a bad person and I do all the things that those who believe in a god do every single day. I have tattoos, I have sex, I drink alcohol, and I cuss.
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Before I talk about why I became Agnostic, I should probably tell you how religious I once was. I was raised as a southern baptist. Couldn't cut your hair, wear jewelry or makeup, no tattoos, your skirt had to be to your ankles, pants were only for boys, and so on. My mom didn't practice this to a tee, but you get the point. In high school, I dated a guy for almost 5 years who helped me form the foundation on which my religious views were built from. He went to a Christian, private school if that tells you anything. We went to church religiously, we prayed together, and we read the bible together and apart. I thanked "God" for everything he did and didn't do for me. But the moment I ended the relationship with that guy was the moment I ended my relationship with "God."

Of course, after I started questioning my faith and religion, I had gone to my grandma's church for the last time. I was already struggling with the decision but I knew if I just tried, it might come back to me. They spent an hour talking about other religions and how silly it is for others to believe that there is a god outside of their god. I knew there and then that religion was definitely not for me.

Living in America, where Christianity is pushed on you from the fine print of "In God We Trust" on our money to people on every corner on a college campus handing out bibles, it is hard to feel "normal". Where we publicly embarrass others of different religions and those of the LGBTQ community to "stop pushing their lifestyle onto us", although it is the exact things that Christians do. I say "Christians" because that is the only accepted form of religion throughout the U.S. The only religion where people can parade up and down the streets yelling out, "Love God" and it is okay. The only religion where people can have signs in their yard that says, "Jesus loves you" and it is okay. People can wear clothing and support propaganda that enhances the light on Christianity but those of other religions will be shamed if they do that as well.

But this isn't the only reason why I became Agnostic. Reading the bible and going to church every Sunday does not make you a good person. Believing in Allah or practicing Buddhism does not take away from the fact that those who do not believe in anything are bad people. I support and admire all religions, but I don't want to take part in any of them. Everyone I know that is religious, sins in one way or another. They go against whatever interpretation of the Bible, or their sacred book, they chose to go with that day, one way or another. They do things that go completely against their religion and as I write this, I cannot even skim the surface of why I no longer believe.

I grew tired of people talking about living for their god and doing right by their god before doing right by those around them. I grew tired of hearing my grandparents talk shit about Catholics, black people, and gays and then go to church to say that we should love everyone. I grew tired of people saying that "god" does not love or accept gays. I grew tired of seeing those who are religious be the same ones who draw the lines between white people and those of color. I grew tired of seeing those of other religions hated and bashed for doing the same thing that those of the more popular religion is doing. I grew tired of thinking that the only way to be a kindhearted person was to believe in "Jesus" and "God". I grew tired of people taking no responsibility for their actions and asking, "why me, God?" I grew tired of people dismissing logic and ration. I just was just so fucking tired.

But, I am not a bad person and I do all the things that those who believe in a god do every single day. I have tattoos, I have sex, I drink alcohol, I cuss, I do every single thing humans do and have done for centuries, but the only difference is, I don't believe in anything. I don't think anything bad is going to happen to me because I do those things. And I don't spend time at night asking for forgiveness but waking up and doing those things all over again. And somehow, I feel this continuous need to justify how and why I am a good person, while all a religious person has to say is that they go to church or believe in a higher power. Boom. They are a good person. I didn't need to tell you how I was once religious, that does not change your perception of me nor does it help you accept the fact that I no longer believe in a higher power.

Religion is just ultimately something that helps you feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself. I respect everyone's views but I also understand how me making you feel as though I am saying your "God" isn't real, makes you defensive, so stop. I am not taking away anyone's beliefs nor am I trying to "convert" anyone.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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God's Letter To The Struggling College Christian

Don't give up on me because I haven't given up on you
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Dear Struggling College Christian,

Life can be tough, especially in college; you're at that age where you're not exactly an adult but also no longer a child.

You're somewhere in between, possessing just enough freedom to do what you want while still being held responsible for the decisions you make about your future. You're always stressed out. You're going to get hurt, you're going to feel like dropping out or changing your mind, and you're even going to want to turn your back on me, your God, but I want to tell you this: your suffering is not in vain.

SEE ALSO: I Am Christian Millennial And I Do Not Hate You

I want you to know that everything you are going through is a lesson. It's all building you into a better person, a better you. The things you've asked of me, the things you've told me you wanted – those are things you have to be prepared for and you still need a bit of tweaking.

The future, though bright, isn't all sunshine and roses.

The path has twists and turns, cracks are in it, fallen logs in your way, and most of the time you're not going to be able to see straight ahead of you. The weather is going to be unpredictable. The hailstorm is going to knock you off your feet and the twisters are going to send you spinning into confusion, exhaustion, and doubt.

But with the strength that I am trying to build up in you, you'll find that you know exactly where to find shelter when the storms break down your door.

You'll find that the lessons you learn from trying times are exactly what you need to fulfill my plans for you. You've read Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 hundreds of times, but there is a verse in the Bible that you may have never paid attention to.

Ephesians 2:10. It reads: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

The most important part of this verse is one simple word: beforehand. So while you're crying and stressing about what job you're going to land after you graduate, if you're going to marry that person you've been with for years, or if you even want to be majoring in what you're currently majoring in, I already have a plan laid out specifically for you. You are my child, my creation and you have a purpose.

However, while knowing these things is great, it is all pointless if you don't do. So here's what I want you to do: do not give up. Have faith in me. You believe in me, so why not believe in me in your darkest moments? That's the reason you became a Christian, right?

Because I'm the one person you know that won't forsake you. You know that I love you, and you know that I'm here for you, so prove it. I know it can be hard when you're pulled in a lot of different directions by your social life, your academic life and your extracurricular activities not to mention your family life and your own personal sanity, but take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to talk to me.

Tell me your fears and your desires. Remember that you can ask me for and about anything. I'm always going to give you an answer, whether it's a yes, no, or not right now. After that, I want you to stop worrying and fight on through the darkness. You are stronger than you think.

My Child, enjoy yourself while you are young: don't stress over the things that you can't see. Don't give in to the depression, the anxiety, or the stress; things that are not of me. Don't let yourself forget about me or believe that I'm not there when I am and know that my plan is set in place for you.

All you have to do is walk in it. Trust that this is all for your good. But most importantly, remember that I love you unconditionally–at your worst and your best. Life can be tough, but you are tougher simply because you are mine.

I've got you,

God

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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7 Bible Verses For The Insanely Stressed Out College Student

Bible verses to bring peace of mind as finals rapidly approach.

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As finals quickly approach and the academic year begins to wind down, it's easy to find yourself becoming bogged down with stress. Despite your religious background, these verses can provide solace and peace to those most in need of it during this stressful time of year.

1. Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

2. Psalm 34:19

"The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from all."

3. John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

4. Psalm 42:5a

"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God."

5. Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

6. John 14:27

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

7. Philippians 4:6-7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And in the peace of God, which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

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