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Monday, February 16, 2004                                                                                       View Comments

I just joined this forum and wanted to share my story

Hello:

I grew up in a home where we attended a mainline Protestant church. Religion, though significant, was not all consuming.

I went to college as a rather insecure kid. In my freshman year I was approached by a Campus Crusade member. I read the Four Laws and a few days later accepted Christ. My life immediately changed. I spent tons of time reading the Bible. I was deeply involved in Campus Crusade, and appreciated having a group of close friends who shared my newfound faith.

After college I got a job, moved to another state and became very active in an evangelical Baptist church. I attended Sunday School, AM service and PM service each Sunday, Wednesday night service, and Bible studies. (Any of this sound familiar to you?) I attended Promise Keeper rallies, went on overseas mission trips, served on boards, and fretted about those who were lost.

My big change started a few years ago. I was feeling dissatisfied about some aspects of my Christian life and rather than searching the Scriptures for answers, decided to search the web. I came across sites similar to this one. At first I was defensive about what some said about their loss of faith. However, these former believers were intelligent and sincere, and I was intrigued by what they said.

I bought Babinski's "Leaving the Fold." I could relate to some of the testimonies in that book. I started to read the writings of authors such as Ingersoll, Thomas Paine and Marlene Winell. I came to the point where I no longer believed fundamentalist doctrine.

The first serious conflict I had as a Christian was back in college, a few months after accepting Christ. I was at a retreat and a speaker brought up one of the passages about wives submitting to their husbands. I had this wild idea that marriage should be an equal partnership, but that's not what the Bible seemed to say. I think at one level I was willing to accept the idea of marriage roles, since "God said so," but never really believed it. When you're a fundamentalist, there are things you condition yourself to accept, crazy as they seem.

I don't know what label to place on me, other than spiritually I'm a work in progress. I'm not a fundamentalist, but still consider myself a Christian. I no longer believe something just because "the Bible says so." I find it amazing that people like Jerry Falwell have such an impact on politics in this country. On the other hand, there are Christians who seem to have a saner world view (Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis come to mind) so I don't discount what I call the positive aspects of faith.

I could go on and on but think I've said enough. Thank you for letting me share my experiences and feelings!

unsigned