On Monday, a reader named Kevin, who goes by the handle of “TheBuckeye,” sent in a story about his life as a Christian.
His story begins with a childhood of “bought” goods and a childhood spent in the “Catholic church.”
Kevin says he grew up in a church that he believes was “fiercely opposed to homosexuality” but that, as a teenager, he “never had a real connection to Christianity.”
He writes that he went to church for “every Sunday” at the age of 10, but was “really not a churchgoer” until he was 17.
When Kevin says that he became “a Christian at age 18,” he is referring to his conversion from “a Catholic to a Protestant,” which he attributes to “some sort of spiritual awakening.”
Kevin writes that in 2004 he “started to see a lot of people who looked like me who had experienced a spiritual awakening and were not sure where they fit into the larger church.”
That same year, Kevin says he became involved in the New York City Catholic Youth Conference, a “huge, global organization” that “gave out a lot more money and had a lot bigger social and spiritual ambitions.”
Kevin, who also goes by TheBrooks, says he went into the conference “totally disillusioned” about Christianity.
He writes about meeting other young people who were “struggling with faith and spirituality.”
Kevin wrote that at some point during his stay at the conference, he and his friends decided to go to a “really big church.”
They met some young men who had “an almost supernatural connection to Jesus Christ.”
Kevin was also told by the young men that “there was no ‘good news’ that could be found in the church, just the gospel.”
Kevin says the young Christians “just didn’t understand what ‘good’ was,” and they were all “just preaching the gospel” in the name of Jesus.
Kevin writes about attending the “Jesus and the Bible” program.
He says there was “a little bit of a panic” among the youth, and he says that while there was a “very clear division between ‘the church’ and the ‘good Christians,’ the good Christians were all there, but they were not part of the group.”
The following year, when Kevin was 19, he wrote a story for the Times about his conversion, and that story became “The New York News.”
Kevin describes how he was “disillusioned” by the church and its teachings and how, after years of “doubting and praying,” he decided to leave.
Kevin says in that article that the “church was just a bunch of people preaching the word of God, and when I left, I left believing the words that they were saying.”
He said that, after he left, he became a “freethinker” and “a person of faith who didn’t believe in anything.”
Kevin adds that “God” told him that “I was going to hell.”
Kevin has been featured on ABC’s This Week, ABC News’ This Week With George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s Good Morning America, ABC Radio, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, ABC Nightline, ABC Sunday News, and ABC World Affairs.
He has also appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
Kevin has also been featured in The New Yorker, the New Republic, and the Boston Globe.
Kevin is currently writing a book about his time in the Catholic church, titled The Christian Experience: From The Bead to the Bible.
He also wrote an autobiography titled How to Find the God You Want: The Story of My Christian Journey.