First of all, I’d like to welcome you to my blog. This is my first blog, and my first post on it. I’ve been wanting to start one for quite some time now.
My name is Jon. I was born on August 24th 1991, into a strict evangelical Christian home. The experiences that I have experienced, the trials that I have encountered and the constant brainwashing I withheld is truly what drove me to want to share my experiences. Early on in my life, I was taught that I was created by God, and that he was my father in heaven. He sent his son, ‘Jesus’, to die on the cross to forgive me of all my sins, past, present, and future. I was taught that if I did not believe in this, that I would burn forever in a lake of fire. As a young child, this terrified me; as it would any child. The constant reminder that was given to me that I must believe this was just frightening. I remember, constantly ‘praying’ to God asking him to please come into my heart, because every time I did something against the Bible, I feared going to hell. It just never made sense to me. I lived in fear of dying, because I did not know if I was going to heaven or hell. I remember being good friends with a Morman when I was in Elementary school.
I was taught that people who believed anything other than the Bible, were going to hell. What was really funny; my friend was being told the same exact thing about us. Both of my parents always cracked jokes about other religions such as “Muslims believe this….haha their so stupid” and this was teaching hate to me. Because I was raised in this environment, it was really the only thing I had to believe. I was never given the opportunity to question anything. By the time I was 13, I went on a church mission trip to Taiwan. While there, the group and I visited schools, villages, churches and even orphanages, preaching about God. The trip was a pretty big eye opener for me. I realized that, things just weren’t making sense. I thought, ‘is this really what I believe’ and ‘why am I preaching this, if I don’t know if I believe it or not’. I tried to pray and ask God to help me believe, or at least show me proof of some kind, but it didn’t work (obviously).
I still believed in God or some sort of higher power, even after all of this. I went on several other mission trips in the following months, including Slovakia, Ireland and traveled here in the US as well. After these trips, I was finally questioning everything that I was taught about Christianity. Why is Christianity the only true religion? What about all the scientific evidence that contradicts the Bible? Most importantly, does God really exist? It wasn’t long after that when I began researching the existence of God. (I was home schooled most of my life, and all the science books were based on biblical principles, therefore I was never truly educated.) I finally decided to make it known to my family that I did not believe in Christianity. There just wasn’t enough evidence there to convince me. For a while, I didn’t know what I believed. After finally admitting this to my family, I really began to see what a great choice it was. As the days passed, and then years, I finally was able to escape by moving out. I was not fully financially ready, but I could not take the torture any longer.
My family began to refuse help if I needed it. Including needing a ride home from the hospital, and they said absolutely not, claiming it was a consequence of living a life in sin and for me to walk (11+ miles). I can’t blame them though, they are brainwashed and caught up in one of the worlds largest cults but I’m sorry…if my child was in the hospital no matter what it was for, I’d be there for them. Now that I live on my own, and my parents have finally accepted the fact that I am an atheist, they are a little less ‘mean’. No matter what, I will always love my parents, even after everything they have done to me. After all, I can’t blame them, I can only blame their religion. Religion ruins lives, families and even friendships. I won’t let it ruin mine.