This week’s guest is Judah. Judah grew up “Church of God, Pentecostal adjacent,” where Judah’s father was convinced, “God is alive in these people.” By eight years old, Judah was speaking in tongues and absorbed into eschatology—the study of the end times.
Around ten, at a more “separatist” church, the family started homeschooling. His church and family were convinced they were right and everyone else was wrong. Answers in Genesis was the science curriculum, but Judah was also exposed to science on public television.
“I knew if [the creationism] pillar is knocked out; it’s going to be really hard to recover from.”
As a teen, another pillar began to crack. Judah believed his attraction to guys and girls was sinful. It felt like God was two opposing forces—one god you lean into for love and grace, the other shames and condemns you.
“If god really is all powerful, and I’m praying to him and wanting these things to go away, then why aren’t they going away and how can I be a better christian?”
Judah doubled down on young earth creationism and repressing his sexual attractions and dove deeper into eschatology. The family’s eschatology changed over time, but 2012 was the year the end of the world would come.
“Cling to family. Cling to beliefs. Cling to this idea that we will be saved from this awful place they call earth.”
Eventually 2012 comes and 2012 goes. This undid Judah. He spends the next three years learning what else was not true, debunking creationism, conspiracies and various theological matters.
“If I deconstruct this all, and I fully leave the faith, I’m willing to accept the fact that I’m risking hellfire but I care about the truth too much to live a lie for the rest of my life…”
Judah was a more liberal Christian for a while but eventually science and logic led him to become an agnostic atheist. He came out with his beliefs to his family in dramatic fashion and hasn’t looked back. His future is in his own hands and whether his family takes responsibility for their beliefs and actions during his childhood is in theirs. He now lives a life true to himself and his own values and ethics.
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“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats