Having been raised in an environment where old school pentacostal holiness ruled the day, B can definitely tell you that being different is nothing new for him. Christianity is in various forms now, though it always has been, with some being more “common” than others. Anyone not familiar with old school pentacostal holiness, it is a denomination of Christianity that states that women are not allowed to wear pants, shorts, jewelry, nor make-up. There weren’t many male restrictions besides what males are commonly restricted within mainstream, if such a thing exists, Christianity. B’s family definitely saw themselves as outsiders from everyone else. If you don’t think like us or serve God like us, then you are not doing it right. Sometime later, his immediate family would transition to Baptist, and then to more what you would call non-denominational forms of Christianity. Baptist was more “mainstream” and didn’t have as many restrictions on it’s followers. It would surprise B much later, that even Baptist was no more one thing than many of the other denominations.
As he grew up, he would leave church and do his own thing so to speak, though the religious upbringing was still there. To those that may be offended by the reference to Christianity being a religion, I utilize the definition of religion provided by Oxford Dictionary, which states, that a particular system of faith and worship is a religion. B would subsequently find his way back to church, though in a different form. A form which he would later find was not the one for him. B found that in his own personal life, because of his defenses being down when people said “I’m Christian”, and the lack of being taught many things about the bible to include the understanding of people in general, finding his way was quite difficult. It would take him many years to develop as an individual, comfortable with his own thoughts and who he was. Though B takes nothing away from the religious upbringing, and the fact that it kept him away from many dangers, it, coupled with the lack of other teachings and understandings, would also lead him into quite a few. Intelligence is great to have, though it has nothing to do with guarding you against being gullible. Being a person that is easily persuaded to believe something, as the Oxford dictionary defines it, you can find yourself in many difficult situations that are not easy to get out of. Being credulous can be dangerous in a world where some people are out looking for someone to dupe to get ahead, or just have nothing better to do than to make things difficult for other people. It would take him sometime to fortify himself with knowledge and go through a few experiences that would make him strong enough to let go and move on.
Many people have other things that they grew up under that hindered them in one way or another. I would not call Christianity a hindrance. It has helped and benefited many people. I would say, that it would be helpful if some would arm themselves in general with more knowledge to keep themselves from the pitfalls that are probably unnecessary. At least some of them are unnecessary. The old adage that what you don’t know won’t hurt you, in my opinion, is rubbish. The more you know the better and the more you know the further you can go.