When I was "saved" they told me that I could not lose my salvation. If I really received Jesus in my heart, then I was as good as in heaven already. However, they said, "faith without works is dead" (book of James); therefore, I had to show changes in my life to prove that I actually believed in Jesus.
So I set on a journey to be a "new creature." Along the way, I often noticed that some devout Christians went back to their sinful lives. I was particularly concerned about the substance-addicted ones. Alcohol and drugs are habits very hard to kick, and many fall away and go back to their sad lives, thinking that they have failed God and that there is no place for them in the church.
On the other hand, many who came from good homes had no problem following the rules and regulations. They became the pastors and the leaders. They were the examples for everyone to follow.
Now a Canadian, I grew up in Latin America and in a dysfunctional home. I wasn’t taught manners, neither North American nor any other type. In Canadian churches, I felt awkward. Always making mistakes, saying things I shouldn’t say, doing inocent things that, in the eyes of the pious Christians, were signs that I was a hidden in need of serious fixing.
In reality, I was a poor soul needing psychological help for the many emotional issues produced by my sad childhood. But in the eyes of the church goers, I wasn’t producing any fruit. The inadequacy I felt made me realize that I was no different from the homeless or the substance addicted. There was no place in the church for me either.
Several things started to become obvious to me at the time:
1) If only people that have been raised well can produce fruit, what kind of God would limit heaven to those who were lucky enough to be born in a stable home with good parents?
2) Didn’t Jesus favor people exactly like me? Wasn't Jesus on the side of the downtrodden? Why does an institution created in his name favor the well-adjusted only? (The mal-adjusted are just feel-good charity projects.)
3) The proper, well-dressed, poster Christians started to look, to me, like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, know-it alls with the power to run the religion. How do they dare to speak in Jesus name? According to the book, people like them had Jesus crucified. And if he were to come back, the religious would kill him again--of that I am sure.
4) Jesus, according to what's been written, spoke against religion. And people went ahead and created a religion about him. How strange…very odd.
Jesus may be a myth, or not. But regardless, the religion created in his name is just another ploy of the establishment to keep the masses under control and to give more power to the privileged—not worth following, that’s for sure.
Besides, if Jesus can't save people from serious addictions and emotional pain, what good is he anyway?
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)