Why I was a non-Christian
Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on reaching this page. If it were the old non-Christian me, I would have gotten out of this website when I saw the opening pages.
I held many views on what life and fate was all about throughout my 21 years of existence. To begin with, my eldest sis Marie had always impressed upon me the existence of God from a young age, maybe since I was about four I think. So the concept of God had always been with me, but in different degrees, of course.
To the surprise of many, myself included (when I suddenly remembered this while trekking alone in Nepal), I used to be in Christian fellowship when I was in Primary Four. Actually, the fact was that I joined so as to fill up time between school and remedial lessons (in Chinese, what else). We pasted nice little stars to mark our attendences and remembered cheem words and verses which included adult words like “verily”, really impressive stuff you know.
Being in a Christian institution from a young age exposes one to many aspects of Christianity. The most important of them all during that time was chapel sessions, which we liked cos it took up one period of study. Where we could spend time in the chapel and not listen to boring lessons instead. I think I was interested for the first four years at least. After that, Christianity became a terrible bore. I mean, all the time we were listening to preachers preach the same thing over and over again. Jesus, salvation, Holy Ghost, bla bla bla. How much of such stuff can people take anyway? It meant nothing to me then. We sang songs, some which were really nice, most of them talking about how good God is and everything. We must have sung a thousand over songs over those 12 years.
To make things worse, in ACS, we had a crankpot teacher who would ask the whole class to pray before the start of lessons. This particular one asked us to pray for not masturbating (which was evil of course), the Gulf War, and a whole host of other things. He was quite a joke amongst us, and sadly, still is. The other teachers were very nice, never mentioning religion in class in the least, although it was a Christian institution and some of them were heavily involved in CF stuff. But they left us alone I guess, and it didn’t bother me in the least. Hey, at this point of time, I was the centre of my universe.
I had been doing well for most of my life, basically always the top few students in class and standard. I figured, hey, no God in my life still doing well what. Really, all my talents were due to my genes. My sisters were smart as well, it runs in the family naturally to be intelligent. What’s more, my mum really kicked our butts well into becoming hardworking students, so that was a greater incentive to get better grades. Science held the keys to the universe, and my brain, which was probably the last step in evolution from my monkey brothers and sisters, was “there” already. No need to improve further man.
Then puberty struck and I had a nightmare case of acne. Of course, here I put all the blame on God. Only God would do such a terrible thing to me. Don’t ask me why, but I was blaming him for a pretty long time, even though I had just contradicted my central place in the universe.
I got most irritated by those people in the streets who would come and and tell me about the 4 Spiritual Laws. I would tell them in return what I knew(which was ALOT) and they were often suitably impressed enough to leave me alone. Who wouldn’t be impressed by someone who just accepts the concept of the Holy Trinity without batting an eyelid? I guess the relief was mutual.
I played around with the idea of reincarnation. I thought I must have been some communist in a past life, cos my sis said I talked like a Maoist in my sleep. Reading those books on astral projection and past lives really caught my fancy. What if one day I found a gravestone and believed my old self to be lying under my feet? Well, I didn’t and wouldn’t have known what to say to myself anyway. But past lives was a pretty cool concept I must admit, though a bit pointless. Who decides your karma level anyhow, which decides the number of reincarnation cycles? Must still be some celestial being right? Well, if God was responsible, he sure was not doing a good job with my cycle.
I disliked strong Christians. Me and my friends coined them “the Christian superstars” or “holy moly people”. I couldn’t figure out for the hell of me what the point was in being such a nice person anyway, singing songs and praying for the world to see. Was it to show off their holiness anyway? What was so great about them anyway? Were they any different with or without God in their lives? I couldn’t see the difference. Not one bit. I was still smarter than many of them. I looked at the others who called themselves Christians but weren’t really “on” about the religion and thought that, “Hey, no difference what, strong or weak Christian. Still human what.”
I also began to see the Bible in different ways. I figured to myself :”The guy writing Genesis must have made a mistake. God must have made the world in 7 Billion years, not 7 days. God did not figure in evolution, so on that he must have been wrong. Where were the dinosaurs anyway? The Bible has got too many flaws and loopholes to be totally correct. Why don’t we see any big miracles like the ones Moses did in Egypt anyway? What happened to God today? Where’s Darwin?”
Who on earth were the Jews anyway? I had never seen one my whole life. So Christianity is a Jewish religion, cos Jesus was the “King of the Jews”. Hey, why didn’t the Chinese get to see Jesus anyway? Stupid Western religion. What does it mean that he died for our sins anyway? He was dead long before I was born.
Basically, Christianity became a pain in the neck. I stayed in ACS because of my friends, not the religion. I did not see any miracles, the pain which I suffered never went away even when I prayed like mad, my Christian friends were no better off than I was. Some of them were real hypocrites anyway.
So that’s why I was a non-believer.
Hmmm, actually, I didn’t know how to go about this essay. It should be quite easy, I thought, I used to be a non-Christian right? Well, the fact is that I didn’t really realize how many ideas I had about Life in general until I finally settled on what I believe to be the truth in the Christian perspective.
“Only believe?” some Christians will say. “Shouldn’t you be saying ‘That IS the truth!’”. Then I’d like to state here that I’m not here to shove my faith down anyone’s throat. One of the most stinging remarks I have ever heard was “You Christians think you own the monopoly on truth.” Well, I would have been glad to say yes then ( I didn’t reply I think), but now upon reflection, I’d better leave the whole truth to God. I can only handle so much. Christians throughout history have always made mistakes that the non-believers like to use as weapons to chastise us, eg. Crusades and Inquisitions. They did what they thought was the truth. Well, I lean now on Jesus, who was the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). His Truth is more than enough for me I guess. I believe in that.
Well, some smart people might then argue with me why I should believe at all, since my belief hinges on a single truth. That belief can be totally unhinged if the truth turns out to be one big lie, and how could I be assured that what I believed to be the truth is actually the truth since the concepts of faith and belief rely on each other with no other supporting pillar(ie evident physical and tangible evidence)?. Paul discussed this in 1 Corinthians 15 and he assures us of the historical and anti-pagan basis of our faith. That you can go explore further, but I will always remember that I am “blessed because I have believed in the unseen”.