I was a reluctant christian

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Christian

I was raised with Christianity as the basis of my religious belief system from the time I became aware. As I believe is the case in most American households (at least the ones I knew of), my mother was the rock and the driving force behind my religious education as she did her best to make sure that I was taught to read the bible and to pray daily and to go church and worship the Lord faithfully. I also was taught to think for myself and since I was taught that the scriptures are the unassailable Word of Our Lord, I assumed that what I read was accurate, in other words, I was taught the scripture says what it means, and means what it says.

The fact I took what the bible said quite literally ended up causing some confusions and created some issues for me, for I discovered that what I was reading in the scriptures and what I was hearing from the pulpit or the Sunday-school classrooms didn’t always coincide. Therefore, because of this (and my apparent inability to keep my mouth shut and to not ask pointed questions about the seeming disparity) I became a ‘problem child’ with the Sunday School teachers when I started asking them to explain the differences between what was being taught and what I was reading. I later discovered that what I was running across at church was what is loosely referred to as allegorizing the scriptures. Without having these disparities and questions addressed and partially because of the way they discounted my concerns (I was told, in a mostly kind way, to stop questioning the teachers about these things because I apparently did not really understand the scriptures), I became more suspicious and wary and less trusting of the people that were teaching or preaching, as well as the lessons being taught at this congregation and slowly started mentally pulling away from this denomination.

Even though I had a good family structure, it couldn’t save me from the evils of the world and at the age of twelve I was sexually abused by an assistant Boy Scout leader. In today’s environment, the dangers of such things are better acknowledged and are watched for, but as a child in small town America in the 1960’s, I felt alone and lost. It didn’t help that he kept telling me how it was my fault and how everyone would blame me for it if I told anyone…so I kept it to myself. I felt I successfully hid away the pain and anguish that comes with these experiences, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pointed fingers and the blame that I was sure would be heaped upon my head. To deal with it (or more accurately, to try to mask it and to attempt to make it go away and to not deal with it, as was the case), I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb reality. Basically from the time I became a teenager until a few years ago, I ran. I spent most of my adult life drinking or taking drugs and ended up all over the board religiously, still seeking peace from my inner torment, which resulted in me going several different directions spiritually. I dabbled in the occult and practiced American Indian religions and ceremonies while I embraced multiculturalism and the idea of many gods while calling the Christian God a quaint myth as I danced my complicated tango with Satan.

On January 15, 2010 after untold failed attempts to stop the vicious roller coaster existence of drinking and drugs, I prayed for the first time in many years to the Christian God in desperation to save me from alcohol  and myself and he answered and stopped my desire to drink right then and there. From that prayer forward, I went from not being able to imagine a day without drinking to not having a desire for anything alcoholic. That is what I call a miracle.

When I prayed that cold January evening in 2010, it was a prayer of desperation. I didn’t pray to the Lord because I loved Him, or because I respected Him. I only prayed to Him because the other gods in my life had either not answered me, or had not left me with any positive interactions or feelings (it was actually, quite the opposite). I prayed to this God because I had run out of options and I was tired of drinking and couldn’t stop and I took a chance…but the chance paid off.

In my thinking, that was an extremely crummy reason to call on The Lord, but there He was waiting for me to come to the end of myself, and there He was still listening and still responding by granting me a miracle. I therefore was reluctant to even acknowledge My Lord, much less praise Him but through all my turning away and blasphemes and curses I lashed upon Him and His people, He was still there for me and still let me know that He loves me regardless of my multitude of faults. Hallelujah dear Lord, thank you so much, My Father for not turning away from me as I turned away from You.

Jim

7-1-11 (10-9-19)

Comments
  1. lindaann59 says:

    This is a touching article but it is also one that takes bravery to tell the world. I have watched you through the many phases you have mentioned and as we both matured, I began praying for you and hoping you would find your way back. I as your supporter could not completely pull away from you no matter what you were dabbling with because you were my dear, dear brother and couldn’t desert you. It took your prayer of course, to get you connected and I praise God as I have never before for his mercy and patience….You have come home….

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