Since 2017, I renounced my faith in Christianity. Today, I\u2019m a fully-fledged agnostic, and also recently embraced the theory of deism. If you don\u2019t know what that means, don\u2019t be surprised. Malaysians don\u2019t take kindly to ideas which challenge religion, so it\u2019s unlikely that you would have heard of it. Religion is still a taboo subject, even in our \u2018New Malaysia\u2019. Being agnostic simply means I have no logical reason to follow a religious belief that is not, or can\u2019t be known. I\u2019m not calling it fake, but for me, God\u2019s existence is as real as I want it to be. As for deism, it\u2019s the idea that while God is the creator of our universe (basically he\u2019s the Big Bang\u2014 bazinga!), he does not directly interact with the universe he created. Sorry aunties, but I doubt your chances of winning 4D are any higher after your evening prayers. So don\u2019t go thinking you\u2019re reading a post written by an atheist - \u00a0those people just jump to the conclusion that God doesn\u2019t exist. An agnostic believes there might be a God - he just doesn\u2019t actively believe in one. Here are some of my experiences as an agnostic. Being Asked to Return to Christianity I know that religion is useful for many people. When I was too young to understand anything, there was a time in my mom\u2019s life where she was at an all-time low. The relationship between her and my dad was strained, and my sister was working abroad, so she felt like there was no one supporting her. She was already Catholic, but when she truly accepted God into her life, she derived a sense of hope from it that she would otherwise not have gotten. She believed that through faith alone she would be guaranteed a place in Heaven. This was when she started to embrace some aspects of Protestantism (though she never acknowledged it). The core difference between these two forms of Christianity comes down to how they interpret their chances of going into Heaven, and how to avoid Hell. Protestants emphasize that just through one\u2019s undying fidelity in God and Jesus they will be accepted by him, while Catholics believe that their righteousness and actions in life, through putting the teachings of their bible into practical use, define their worthiness of entering Heaven. (More on this and how it\u2019s been taken out of context later.) So when I was debating with my mom about life, she started mentioning all the teachings that being a Protestant has to offer, and how \u201cGod is good, all the time\u201d. I don\u2019t know what happened \u2014 but I just snapped that day. I told her how I didn\u2019t believe in God or Jesus anymore, and that I had been unfaithful. In her mind, she thought that she, and more importantly, the Lord, were losing their grip on me and that I was falling into the Devil\u2019s grasp. So that day, she tried with all her might to change my mind, but I wouldn\u2019t budge. To this day, she still tries. A few months ago, she bought me a necklace with a cross. Not just to keep Jesus close to me, but to replace the necklaces I wore: One with a black dog tag, and the other with a wooden-bead, which she said were close to Devil-worship. I\u2019m her son, so I get why she does this; it\u2019s the best way she knows how to love me. But come on, necklaces are just a fashion accessory. I\u2019m a Closeted Agnostic In Front of the Rest of My Family... ...otherwise, it would get even uglier than the time I came out about my non-beliefs to my mom. As I matured, I stopped being rebellious \u2014 I buckled down and got my ass to Church whenever it counted. I attend Mass whenever I\u2019m in my dad\u2019s hometown because I\u2019m in the presence of the entire family. I also go on the first day of Chinese New Year, Good Friday and Christmas Day - these are the days where I put on my \u2018Child-Of-God\u2019 mask and sing songs, clap hands, give blessings, and eat a biscuit to \u2018communicate with the Lord\u2019. This is one of the subtler Protestant beliefs that fly under the radar for most people, yet I was raised as a Catholic. I do all that because this is the Malaysian mentality - religion is the be-all-and-end-all in life, and that our existence and goodness is purely defined by how religious we are. Had I tried to tell the entire Wong clan, \u201cHey, what proof do you have that there is a God?\u201d I would be disowned. My mom also seems to have brushed off our previous argument, thinking that I\u2019ve snapped out of a phase I was going through (no way Jose, I\u2019m enlightened by my revelation). I Question a Lot of the Teachings I started questioning Protestant and Catholic beliefs and teachings in 2014. Because of my gold-digger girlfriend, I was broken and blaming everyone but myself. In my house, I yelled at God, \u201cIs this your plan for me!?\u201d People always mention how God has a plan for all his children from the second they\u2019re born - and that the unfortunate events that happen in your life are his \u201ctests\u201d. I\u2019ll leave you to interpret what that means because when I really think about it, I am utterly disturbed. God had nothing to do with me being naive and foolishly giving my ex lots of money, or with how she used me \u2014 that was just how life works. If I kept hinging on \u2018God\u2019s plan\u2019 for every mistake in my life, I would have never learned to face and accept reality. And don\u2019t get me started on the extreme lengths I\u2019ve seen people go through to devote themselves to the Lord. A few weeks ago, my cousin attended a mass that was conducted by a guest priest from the Philippines. The priest brought a piece of cloth with a blood stain, a piece of hair, and a human bone to display on the podium. He then started talking about priesthood and said that by praying to the three significant saints of the Church, people would be able to seek enlightenment. They could discover their potential for enlightenment by enrolling into priesthood! Apparently, the priest asked the church attendants to stay back after Mass to kiss the bone as part of the ritual in order to seek enlightenment. I\u2019m not making any of this up \u2014 people actually stayed and did it. I\u2019ve also realised how some people have misinterpreted \u201cfaith\u201d for \u201cfortune\u201d, \u201cgoodness\u201d, which is emphasized heavily by Protestants. Some people actually think that part of God\u2019s plan is shaped by your belief in him. In simpler terms: \u201cThe world apparently works in a certain way if you pray or donate more\u201d. They also think that if you\u2019re religious, you\u2019re immediately a good person. It\u2019s like that\u2019s the main reason some people go to church \u2014 not to feel blessed or spiritually connected, but only to have a better chance of landing that job promotion, be justified to act like an asshole every day, or to come off as a good person based on their prayer count. I try to be a good person all the time \u2014 help old people cross the road, give way to the driver on the other side of the road, be there for my friends and family \u2014 but I don\u2019t do any of these expecting my chances of going to heaven to be higher than others. I just try to be a thoughtful person in general. I wish that wasn\u2019t so difficult for the people who pray more than I do. I\u2019m Always Facing Criticism and Prejudice for My Choice Whenever I say I\u2019m agnostic, people rush to the assumption that I\u2019m an atheist, or are left dumbfounded, or both. In my final year of school, I was proudly agnostic and didn\u2019t hide it from anyone. I told my classmates and even a few teachers about it. Some of them were surprised, while others just thought agnostic was a fancy term to describe atheism. For the rest of the year, I was jokingly labelled \u201cthe demonic boy\u201d or \u201cthe Devil\u2019s child\u201d even after I explained everything. It was exhausting explaining my choice but still getting shit for it. Hell, I have a friend who thought I was on some kind of trend, like the Paleo diet or the Ice Bucket Challenge for being agnostic. Views such as irreligion (feeling indifferent or hostile towards religion), Satanism (the actual bad group, not atheists), theism (the belief in deities and supreme beings) and many more have existed since the time of Aristotle - and yet it felt like I was being compared to someone who changes iPhones every year. And yet, Christians always preach, \u201cJesus forgives all\u201d, \u201cJesus listens to you all the time\u201d, \u201cGod sees everything\u201d, \u201cGod has a plan for you\u201d, as a way to will themselves through tough times. I have nothing against people coping with hardship through spiritual means. You do you, but personally, that just doesn\u2019t work for me. I believe more in the people that are physically there and who can actually show me love and support, not in someone who people simply claim to love me. I choose to live Life on my own terms Till proven of his existence, I choose to carry on with my life believing in the people that are actually there for me. I\u2018ve made a lot of mistakes in life; like letting a gold digger into my life or drinking my youth away, but I don\u2019t need someone\u2019s \u2018plan\u2019 to justify them. And if I had someone who would\u2019ve just listened to my problems in school, instead of giving me advice and setting me straight, I would\u2019ve ended up not caring about SPM altogether. I know I\u2019m going to get a lot of shit for this, as I still believe religion is something very sacred. But I\u2019m not here to diminish or hate religion, or specifically, Christianity, and its two major forms. In the end, these are just my views and experiences. It\u2019s time for religious people in Malaysia to stop treating religion as a shove-down-our-throats life choice, expecting returns in their investment of time, hating on people of different religions, covering their ears and going \u201cLALALA\u201d on other theories, and propagating their religious teachings to the younger generation. There is nothing wrong with being religious, but think logically and maybe not throw shade at people who are \u2018different\u2019. Speaking for myself, I only recently found out about deism. So you should always be open to learning more about the many beliefs and religious ideologies that other people have, and teach yourself to accept them. Unless they\u2019re Satanists, those people can f*** themselves. For more articles on religion, read Brunei\u2019s Sharia Laws: Here\u2019s What Bruneians Think of Them.