I Don't Even Know if I Believe

I Don't Even Know if I Believe

There's a song by Mumford and Sons called Believe. One of the lines in the song is 'I don't even know what I believe.'
I've been brought up in a Christian household since I can remember. B met a friend who was a Christian and she encouraged them to join. So we all trudged down to church on Sunday morning. I don't actually remember a lot about church as a child just a load of singing, flag waving and boring adults talking. If I was feeling tired, I'd refuse to go to the children's bit because I knew I'd fall asleep listening to the dude talk. Grown up stuff is so boring! I did enjoy going to the children's church, we explored a lot and it was based in an old school with a chapel as well as do loads of making! In the nativity I had one line which was 'Can I have more?' I was petrified of talking but there I was pretending in front of a whole group of adults! A and B decided that this was something that they were interested in and decided to become full time members. When they became baptised they were taken to a pool. As a four year old child, this meant one thing. Swimming! In went A fully clothed. I looked on, confused. There's something wrong here.You don't wear clothes to go swimming. Next the funny man, that did all the talking stepped into the pool. And after saying something I didn't understand, A disappeared under the water. Now to a four year old who had no idea at all about baptisms, this seemed a lot like dying to me! I thought funny man was trying to kill A! After crying and worrying, a second or two later out popped A looking soggy and wet. Completely confused, I came to the conclusion being baptised was just people having a bath together . . .  with their clothes on.  

We continued going to church. A and B had made friends with these two funny women. I'll never forget them. They looked funny but always sat at the back of the church. Why I named them the funny ladies, I'll never know! They had told A and B that personal belongings were evil and Satan loved people who had tv's, Barbie, music that wasn't living 'the christian way' and sometimes you have to give up your things for God to bless you. And so being influenced by this, A and B threw it all out. Including my beautiful Ballerina Barbie that I had for my birthday. She had beautiful golden curls, a white lace tutu and the prettiest ballet shoes. I'll always remember the dustman's face as A handed him my doll to be thrown in the back of the rubbish truck. I screamed for ages and I have never forgotten it. How Barbie is evil, I'll never know. Everything went. Records, tapes, videos, anything Barbie, some of A and B's personal belongings they had for years. And this was suppose to be in the name of religion? 

It doesn't stop there! B was told he would have a massive house for all of us to live it. I don't mean a four bedroom house with a big garden and dining room. I'm talking massive mansion type house. This came from 'God'. Yep. It sounds crazy doesn't it and this is the first time that I'm telling people about this.

We were encouraged to keep this quiet for many reasons but I think the main reason was because it wasn't real. From an early age I was told we would live in this house. This house is a little girls dream and I was encouraged to pick out colours I'd want in my bedroom or furniture I'd want in my room. Year after year 'God' would give us signs that it would be our year to move into this house and year after year, things got worse. Things were thrown especially Bibles, we were sworn at and when things blew over, we pretended like this house was going to happen again. I had most of my things packed from an early age. Once I was so bored because I was told to pack that I decided to unpack a few of my things, I did this without A and B knowing, I'd be in so much trouble if they knew. I'd play and when it was time to put toys away, I'd force them back into the box, hoping that I wouldn't be caught. Cutting a long story short, I did get caught and this ended up with all the toys in that box I had packed, being thrown out the next time I went to school. Most of our things were in boxes for ages. I was completely brainwashed by this whole 'Big House' scenario that I missed out on a lot of things and this was something that was used against us a lot. We feared on missing out on this House, thinking we'd get left behind if it was real. We'd always get told about the swimming pool or the stables with the horses and to a child, it's a dream. As I got older, I began doubting it more and the more I doubted, the more I came to realise that it was something that was used for control. If you were doubting then you would probably miss out on something when we eventually got this house. We got told 'to go to hell' or 'you're gong to hell' often but in another language so we wouldn't work out what was being said. This was said often or when we did something that A didn't like.

  B would often go to church meetings or prayer  meetings to get a message about the house. If I went along, whatever blessing I got was overshadowed by the message of the house. Everything we did was for the house. We attended another church for a while and I became a regular. A and B clashed with views of the church and it's members over this house. They'd mock members and I'm sure that's not what you're suppose to do when you're a born again Christian. I've come to the conclusion that we were raised in a cult and it's all complete craziness! I've done lots of research on cults and I'm sure that's what it was. Many Christians or friends we had were allowed in for a bit but as soon as you doubted or said anything against the house, they were gone and we'd never see them again. When I joined this church, I think I was looking for a way out and I was looking a way to escape it all. I liked the idea of being part of a community and even though I tried to fit in, I never quite did. I made friends and became a proper member but I grew too close and was told to leave this Church. It was that or I'd have to leave the house because I was 'unfaithful' to the faith of the house. Everytime I look back I think cult! I did leave, I had no choice and they knew this. And so I was back into this circle of house and faith and it was draining. The constant circle of house, then no house then
Bibles being thrown or doors being slammed or the fact we ended up in one room, all nine of us because we were scared to say anything against it. I had so narrow minded views on life, ones that I was taught or had learnt through this 'religion.'  I know now it's not the Christian faith and is the complete opposite. A would tell us that people didn't believe because they where jealous that they weren't getting the big house and weren't the chosen ones, unlike them. Not only that but they had come to the conclusion that they would do loads of things once they were given this house. According to them we would be given a house and then God would bless them with money. All of a sudden, A started telling people about this house but not just that they'd was going to save the rock stars of the world by turning them into Christians. We were encouraged not to date too, an outsider was an outsider, they never wanted to loose the control. It feels really good to be writing this because I've had so many years of keeping this secret that I can actually tell people this insane story!  I'm in my mid twenties now, I was about six or seven when I was told about this 'house'. That's twenty years of waiting for a massive mansion that was suppose to happen. Walking away was the best thing I've done, not just for me but for the others too. The fear that I was brainwashed is still there but mostly gone. Having been brought up with being told that God would punish us for being evil, being a non believer or even doubting, would end up with us being the outcast for a while. It's crazy that what they were doing was the complete opposite to what Christianity is all about.

To everyone that got fooled by A and B who may read this, I apologise. I don't have to but I want too. For a long time, I was part of it and I didn't even realise. When you're brainwashed by lies and then had religion piled on top, you just go along with things cause that's what you've been programmed to believe and told what to do. I say religion because it's not even Christian or anything to do with faith. It's taking a bit of Christianity and turning into a complete different religion. Who knows if A and B are still waiting for this house. I think they'll be waiting a long time. 

My view on religion or church now is simple. 

I don't even know if I believe. 

and that's okay.