|Me at around thirteen.|
In this first part I am going to talk a bit about my early life, before I became a Christian, leading up to why I converted in the first place.
In my preteen years I did not get along with people my own age very well, and often hung out with adults. From a young age my parents cared about education, they read to me, encouraged me to read and told me to use a dictionary if I didn't know what a word meant. I was reading books like "The Lord of the Rings" by the time I was twelve so it should not be surprising that I had a college level vocabulary before I started Jr. High. Don't get me wrong, I did normal kid things as well, but I often did not fit in well with other people my age.
Since I was picked on a lot I became even more introverted throughout Jr. High, and high school. When I was about fourteen I started learning computers which didn't much help my status as a nerd, since this was back in the early 90's when very few people knew much about them.
Through most of this time I gave very little thought to religion, I would have said I believed in god, I also would have said I believed in evolution, but I knew very little of religion or of science, nor did I really care about them. I had my fantasy/sci-fi books, my video games and my computers so I didn't really care about any of this.
Things changed when I was around sixteen, my parents caught me reading some pornography. *gasp* *shock* a sixteen year old male reading porn? Say it ain't so. Well, to much of the world this might have seemed rather innocuous, even expected, but to my parents it was a sign that I was on the proverbial highway to hell. My parents had been more religious when they were younger, and in their wisdom decided they needed to take the family back to church so they could "fix" me.
I resented it at first, but at the same time the church offered a place to belong and fit in. Christianity even often sells itself in this way, and for a social misfit like me this appealed to me greatly, so I gave it a chance and over a period of a year or two I came to believe in Christianity.
I will end here for part I. In Part II I will speak about my religious experience, and my descent into fundamentalism.