Home > atheism, christianity, Faith, life, Personal, Perspective, religion > 06.25.2010 – Memoirs of Indoctrination – Part 1

06.25.2010 – Memoirs of Indoctrination – Part 1

I grew up in an evangelical Christian home. Attended church at least 3 times a week (two times on Sunday and Wednesday nights), often times even more than that. I can’t remember when I was first saved, but I must have been in elementary school at the time. Then, of course, there were several re-dedications throughout the years to follow.

I feel I wasn’t given the opportunity to think for myself back then. I remember asking questions to my Mom as a kid, and I do remember thinking that the answers never really made a whole lot of sense. For example: I specifically remember asking how old the world was. And I remember my mom saying “according to the bible, it’s 6,000 years old”. Which led to a follow-up question from me “So, when did the dinosaurs live on Earth”. It was at that point that the ‘demonization’ of science started for me. I believe the response was along the lines of ‘Scientists believe that they lived here 65 million years ago, but the bible tells us that’s not the case”. I was, needless to say, confused.

There were, also, the inevitable questions about the Noah’s ark story. I think even small children can see the obvious flaws in the story. However, when you start with them young enough, i think they eventually store away the questions and just accept it. I mean, when an adult (let alone hundreds of them) is telling you something is true, when you’re young I think you generally start to accept that. The problem is, I think some adults never find the critical thinking skills to question it fully and they continue to believe these clearly flawed stories.

I guess I still have a lot of ‘demons to exercise’ about the various parts of my indoctrination as a child. I’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot of things like the above that I haven’t been able to fully resolve. It’s hard to look back and realize that a lot of the struggles that I’ve had in life are because I don’t feel that I was given the opportunity to fully find my potential. I want, desperately to be able to be at peace with my place in life, but I’ve not found the path there completely yet.

I hate the way this all sounds. I hate having this bitter tone. But I guess the reality is that it’s there. It’s not overwhelming or all-encompassing, but it’s there. I hate that this sounds like I’m blaming things on others. I’ve always tried to own up to things for myself and take responsibility, but I think when you’re so sheltered and restricted as a child you’re helpless at that point to really do anything about it. My hope is that by addressing these issues, maybe I can make steps towards being at peace finally.

  1. June 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Once again, no apologies necessary. Your parents were doing the best they knew how to do, and you have learned a little more (maybe a lot more) since then and are growing and improving as a result. Some people have a hard time moving beyond their past, oftentimes with good reason. Closure comes a little differently for everyone, but not getting closure can hold anyone back. Maybe you still need some closure, I don’t know. It’s sometimes a journey instead of an event. But you don’t seem to be stuck in a rut, which is good, because a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out.

    Speaking of demons, I highly recommend reading Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World” if you haven’t already. It has lots of clear examples of the damage irrational thinking has done to the human race throughout history, including today.

    • adoubtersramblings
      June 28, 2010 at 8:41 am

      Thanks again Brap! It is, indeed, a journey! And you’re right…i’m definitely not in a rut. oftentimes, these are just fleeting thoughts that I have and I whip out a full blog post about them.

      I have read The Demon-Haunted World. AWESOME book! Sagan kicks so much ass!

  2. June 26, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Where does the 6,000 year old earth thing come from in the bible any ways? I think many Christians believing this don’t actually know. It doesn’t come from the bible, but from a guy trying to do a lineage hundred of years after the NT was set up. When looking at this, I think anyone would think it rather dubious to rest your faith in.

    I haven’t gone through your entire blog site, but if you have doubts about faith or Christ, that is natural. The other thing this post seems to point out to me, is that ignorant Christians are the causes for a lot of people falling away or out of their faith. I was blessed to have very learned Pastors (all having PhD’s, one from Yale law school even) and I never had a challenge or question that wasn’t appreciated or answered or wrestled with.

    • adoubtersramblings
      June 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

      Thanks for the comment.

      I don’t place any blame for my leaving Christianity on ‘ignorant christians’. I was away from the church for around a decade before I started searching for answers and ultimately coming to my disbelief. My question always is, when someone gives that as what they think their reason for me becoming atheist, what makes you think YOU’RE the one that right and all the other factions of christianity are wrong? All the people that I grew up with in the church and my mother’s current church and members all believe that THEY have the right version. There are literally THOUSANDS of sects of Christianity. What makes you think you’re right and all those others are wrong? And then beyond that, what makes you think that Christianity is right and all the other religions of the world are wrong?

      Most of those questions are rhetorical. The answers are always pretty stardand: “Because I have a personal relationship with Christ”, and others like that. For me, that just doesn’t work. If you read any of the rest of the blog, you’ll see that I was a born-again, spirit-filled believer for nearly 25 years. Even travelled the world with a christian musical group the year I graduated high-school. And yet, I look back and now think that everything I believed about having a personal relationship with God was just me convincing myself that I did. There was no real evidence that that was the case. Only emotional attachment.

  3. June 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I know those are rhetorical questions, but I disagree with your rhetorical answers. I gave a very specific response to a specific point of knowledge you were led to believe was true by your church and mother: the earth is 6,000 years old. What makes me think I’m right on this point? I am only appealing to your sense of reason and logic here. I’m not pulling heart strings or calling on my relationship with Christ. Do you think, after looking into how the “young earth” theory was formed, that it is a sound one? I suspect not, and therefore, the same question can be posed back at you, as to how you think that YOU are right, and your parents are wrong regarding the age of the earth? I contend we are both correct regarding this single matter because of reason leading our minds to the truth.

    About doing 1,000,001 things that makes you a “Christian”, I do agree here that nothing you do can make you a believer or a fervent follower of Christ. You can do all those things and still not be who God wants you to be. This is a very existential thing, and I’ll leave it at that.

  4. adoubtersramblings
    June 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    my appologies…my response had nothing to do with the 6,000 year old earth question that you posed. I suspected that our beliefs on that were the same and therefore just glanced over it. My response was completely in regards to your statements about ‘ignorant christians’.

    so, about the 6,000 year old earth question. I side with science on that. the fact that people traced lineages back from the geneologies in the bible to come up with that figure i whole-heartedly reject. since science bases it’s findings on evidence, i choose to believe what IT has to say on the matter.

    thanks again for your reply!

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