I haven't called myself a true Christian for a long while. In fact, it shouldn't have been surprising to me when watching an online documentary, that I was no longer of the Christian mindset. However, I was proved wrong today.
There are YouTube sprees that begin with cute kittens and end with tear-worthy proposal videos, and then there is the internet-wide search that I underwent. I got it in my head, and I'm unsure as to how it started, but I started browsing for any literature or web pages about atheism. It started with agnosticism vs. atheism, a topic I had read over before, but hadn't done so in a long while. That led to searching for books on atheism, books that ranged from discrediting religion(s), to how to live as someone without religious belief. Finally, I went to YouTube, and I ended up finding a video that would throw me for a loop.
At first, the video entitled "Why I No Longer Believe In God (Documentary) Full Movie," sounded like a testimony I had heard before. The narrator, whose username is Mike Mal, said that he started out studying to be a pastor, and I could relate to a lot of the sentiment in his story. I also once had a fire for God, as the expression goes. I was even one of the most energetic worship singers at the third church that I attended! You could say I was an Energizer Bunny for the Lord, as silly as that might sound. I identified with his yearning after God's heart, about finding purpose in life, in a way that would please Him.
Of course, there came the part when, little by little, Mike began to realize that much of what he had believed for so long, was without basis. He saw lies and plagiarism, and that was just when he was considering an alleged prophetess from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. He still held on to his faith in God, far less willing to let go of that.
The part of the video that really blew me away, was when Mike talked about Jesus. Maybe it was an unspoken thing in my mind, or maybe I didn't think about it too much further. I had already come to the conclusion that God wasn't real, so it would stand to reason that Jesus was never real, either. However, when Mike began to draw parallels to different characters of legend from numerous cultures around the world, and compared them to the story of Jesus, I was stunned. It was uncanny just how many details were borrowed from stories long past written, to contribute to the character of Jesus. By the time he got to saying that, if The Crucifixion had been such a big deal, any number of the writers present in that location during that time would have definitely written it up as a big deal, I found myself blown away. All the arguments at least claiming that Jesus was a real person in history, every unique facet of my former Lord and Savior, every comfort that I thought I had let go of in deconversion, was finally gone.
I really appreciate the fact that Mike makes a point of saying that none of his memories from church were bad. In fact, he still refers to them as very fond memories. He makes that point so that people don't automatically jump to the conclusion that he was just rebelling, or that a bad church experience(s) was his only reason for saying that he no longer believed in God. Much of that sentiment also applies to me, in that the majority of my own churchgoing experiences weren't nightmares. Yes, there were some moments that made me angry, sad, hopeless, etc. , but overall, they were still great experiences. I came to the conclusion that there is no God after years of picking up on the hints, delving into my own research, and evaluating my own thoughts on the matter without letting a bigger mindset dictate my thoughts anymore.
I'm not out to my parents yet, but for some reason, this video made me feel a little more confident about my own personal stance as an atheist. I think that, once I am entirely comfortable and confident when it comes to my beliefs, or a lack thereof, I'll think about telling them. This is one of the reasons that I joined this website, so that I could meet others like me, and those who have called themselves atheists for far longer than I have.