“Real” Faith

I’ve been told more than once now, that my current lack of belief/ faith indicates that I never really believed in the first place. This baffles me.

What about my life before agnosticism illustrates non-belief?

Is it the skirts I wore? Or the way I obeyed my parents and sought to please them? Do the worn out binding and highlighted pages of my Old King James Bible I received when I was eight years old reveal my lack of faith? Is it all the bible verses and hymns that I have memorized and stored in my head to this day? Is it how I filled my journals with prayers for redemption and anointing of the holy spirit, how I wrote about my sins and begged for forgiveness? Or maybe the prayer journal I kept especially for my future husband, before I ever met him. That is a sure clear indicator of godlessness.

Is it how I kept myself a virgin until marriage? Never even holding hands or kissing until I was with my future husband? Maybe my lack of true Christianity is revealed in my efforts to be a submissive wife to my husband, how I read book after evangelical book to try and discover what it was he wanted me to do (until the day I gave up on that and just asked him instead) surely those things show the true evil in my heart.

Oh wait, I bet it’s how I parented my kids, how I held my first baby and swore I would never spank her, and then I read all the Christian parenting books that I could get my hands on, including the ones I grew up with, and found that if I truly loved God, and I really wanted my kids to be Christians, I would HAVE to spank them, there was no other way. So I did, because I wanted them to know the God I was sure that I knew. That must be where people are seeing how I wasn’t truly a believer.

I forgot, what about all the times I told other people how to live? Like, how they shouldn’t have sex before marriage, or how they shouldn’t use birth control. That’s sure a tell-tale sign of lack of faith, you know, when you try to spread it around and convert other people.

How could I have done all those things, read the Bible every day for years on end, prayed to know God’s will before I did anything… if I was only pretending that entire time? Could I really have spent that much effort, refused to get the help I needed and cried that many tears… if it was only a game to me? Even my early blog posts show my understanding of God at that time, how much I wanted to know who He was and how to relate to Him. How can anyone who knew me then, claim that I was just pretending to be a Christian?

How does one even answer a statement like this?

This line of thinking only ever works after the fact, something people of faith throw at those whose faith has changed. If I was never really a Christian, then what exactly makes one a Christian? And if you are someone who believes that a person who loses their faith never really believed in the first place, than how can you be sure that you have understood and believed Christianity correctly?

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