141 of 152 people found the following review helpful
Thank you, Mr. Barker!
, November 23, 2000
This review is from: Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (Paperback)
I, too, have spent years in an Assembly of God Church. I started out in a Church of Christ, which taught me to hate the Charismatics (who were deceived by Satan), who in turn, taught me to hate the New Agers (who were deceived by Satan), who in turn, taught me that everybody is on their own spiritual path, and we are all brothers.
I was watching "Prince of Eygpt" with my 4 year old niece recently. There was a roomful of Christians present. The movie was on the Passover scene where the firstborn of Eygpt were dying, and my niece suddenly looked up and said, "This story isn't true. God wouldn't create people and then kill them." It stunned the adult Christians in the room. One of them said, "But, honey, you don't know the Bible yet." She said, "I know that God isn't mean."
That, in a nutshell, is where my spiritual journey has finally taken me--through the years of dogmas and theatrics of Christianity and back out again. I learned to think for myself, and I discovered what my 4 year old niece knows instinctively, without any Bible telling her differently. God isn't mean.
I no longer see through the eyes of "Christianity" in terms of "good" or "bad"--"lost or unlost." That, to me, is one of the most damning things about Christianity--it divides mankind from his brother.
I struggle with what I know is my approaching "emancipation" from the Church. I love my friends, and I know that when that day comes, I'll never be a part of it again, and it makes me sad. In many ways, it served my needs, (until it didn't anymore). But I also know what Mr. Barker came to know---that once you come to this truth, there is no going home again. You can never turn back. Once you know--You "know." It's not something you can change.
Mr. Barker's book encouraged me in so many ways and assured me that I will meet other people who are free thinkers and will again feel the bonds of fellowship that I have known in the church. And because there are people who exist without the "divisions" of Christianity in their hearts & in their minds, I will not have to be afraid of being "rejected" or cast from the fold if my belief system does not correspond to their own.
This is a well-written book. Walking away from a belief system that has been ingrained in you from birth is not an easy thing to do. I remember when I finally realized that the end was coming, I lay in bed night after night and was literally numb. Fundamentalist Christians may think this is a "light" thing or some kind of serious "deception," but it is neither. It's like a light finally shining on darkness and a terrible fear of moving away from that darkness because it's all you have ever known. It's a soul-tearing, gut-wrenching, coming apart at the seams kind of realization, but when it's all over, there is peace.
I believe in a better God today and in a better world. I believe that every man is truly my "brother." I only wish that every man believed that of me.
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