Leaving Churchanity

It is time for a rant.

I am tired of the church.

I wish there was a better way to express it, but that is the main thought that keeps running through my head. It is not that I do not like my church or the people in it. As people we are all flawed, so I am not expecting any more from them then what I can deliver myself.

Also, I am not leaving God. Nor I am renouncing Jesus. I still know that Jesus is God, so I am not converting to some strange new doctrine. I love the people at my church, but it is this new flavor of Christianity that I am bombarded with that leaves me feeling so weary.

Part of this was my own fault. I loved taking classes and studying to learn about God. I wanted more knowledge and a greater understanding for selfish reasons. It did not seem selfish at the time, but I was looking for my accomplishments to satisfy needs within myself that I was not addressing. It hurts a bit to admit that, but you have to admit it so you can move on. It is ok to be a Christian and be wrong.

I am not sure if that is a scary statement or not. I know it scares some people, because what if what we are wrong about is the teachings that we have been giving to others that have inadvertently led people away from Christ or even just in the wrong direction? Wouldn’t you think there might be some repercussion from being wrong and the effects that it had on others? What happened with Moses overstepped his authority? He was left outside of the Promised Land. God did not stop loving him, but he was not able to go an partake of the goodness of God. Ok, maybe it was just in the physical realm. We know, or at least it was suggested, that God and Satan were fighting over his body. Maybe Satan misunderstood what God did by keeping Moses out.

What makes it harder is that I have no interest to read the Bible or pray. I still pray, but it is usually after I cannot stand to ignore God any longer. My prayer life has been changing and I am not in a place of security in it anymore. Call it part of growing, but the uncertainty is not what I enjoy.

An interesting aspect of this experience that I am going through has made me see more of what Calvinist holds to. The Holy Spirit will NOT leave me alone. I am grateful for this, but to know there is this much of a tug going on within myself, I do not see how other people who have been saved are able to withdraw from God’s presence and not feel a void. Maybe they do, but just do not express it. I would like to think that is true and maybe it would explain why so many people are depressed. I still believed in free will and our ability to choose however, so I am not switching to Calvinism.

All of this is in part why I have been absent from writing lately, as I do not know what I all I need to say and I don’t want to post just to make a quota. I feel like I need to say something though.

So where do I begin?

I am not sure when Christianity thought that being political was the best way to “get people saved”. Regardless of which group you are listening to at the moment, it seems like they are all twisting the actions of Jesus or the writings in the New Testament to support their cause. I get why they do this, because we all want to be right. To be a Christian should mean that you, at some level, want to follow Christ. It should mean this, but I think it honestly is more of a case of people not wanting to go to hell these days.

This is not that they are bad people, but they honestly start to look more like what we imagine the Pharisees to have been like during the time of Christ. Let’s impose laws so that we are made to be “good”. We can ban those things that are “sinful” and then we become good people who are following Jesus since we are not doing the bad things. This legalism does not benefit anyone but Satan because it keeps us from talking about what needs to be talked about and expressing the honest feelings that we have,
We get weary and just do not want to do it anymore.

Christianity is not about voting for or against health insurance for all. Christianity is not about voting for or against same sex marriage. Christianity is not about how the government spends money. Christianity is not about what songs you sing or what clothes you wear. It is not about equal rights or equal pay. Christianity is not about social justice. That statement makes Christianity sound harsh, but that is the reality of it.

When did you ever hear Jesus talking about freeing the slaves or making the roman government, or any government, change and operate on Christian principles? Jesus never made speeches that said all people have a right to be happy or to do what they want to do. Jesus never said it was going to be fair.

Western society is trying to shape itself into a secular version of right and wrong. It is establishing its own little kingdom and people are told to embrace it. Western society is becoming its own false religion and the church seems to be embracing it, because it sounds similar to what we are told that Christianity says and requires little thought to follow. In fact, there cannot be a lot of thought if you want to follow it.

Theology has moved from being something we learn to understand what God is trying to say and it has been replaced with this weapon in which we attack each other. We use it to beat each other over the head to prove our point. I do this myself, so I am just as guilt as many others. Now that I am stopping and looking around though, I see that grace and mercy are often missing from what I am saying. It might be truthful, but it is also hurtful. I am not going to change my stance on issues, as I feel they are correct to the very core of my being, but I don’t have to defend them all of the time.

I need to remember what it is to love those around us.

People misrepresent Jesus as being all above love and nothing about the Law. Yes Jesus loved the sinners that were around Him. That is why they flocked to Him. He accepted them as children gone astray and they felt the love of God through Jesus. Yes, He told them to go and sin no more, but that is not what he led off with. It is anyone’s guess as to how soon in the conversation that He said that, but it was most likely not in the first few minutes.

We see that Jesus transformed Matthew’s life in what appears to be one night. What a great testimony to the love of God. What about all of those other people that left His side though, when things did not go how they wanted it to? These people surely heard Jesus say don’t sin anymore, so there was not a misunderstanding about Jesus living a life that was sin free. True, it did not meet religious standards, but we are told that Jesus fulfilled the law, so there was no blemish on him.

So what does that mean my life should look like?

Grace is a tough thing to get back to from being law focused. With grace, I don’t have to “be right” on a position. I can state what I know to be true, but prevent it from becoming an argument. That is my choice. I can talk to others about how they feel without having to say that aspects of their life are wrong. If I live the standard that Jesus holds to, then He will make the change in them and it is no longer an issue of me trying to do God’s work for him.

Not sure how the posts will look in the future, but I know this is the direction that I must go. I have been sidetracked on my own agenda for too long. Now, it is time to love.

Love and Demeaning Approaches

I have been working closely with a new co-worker who happens to be a lesbian.  I like her and we get along rather well.  We tell jokes and cut up and it is a pretty good time.  She is living with her partner who also happens to work at the same company as we do.  This is a rather large company, so many people.  In fact I met my wife at the company when she worked there.

So, thinking about Kristy, my co-worker, and her partner Deanna.  They love each other.   Watching them, I know they love each other.  I have seen many Christians bash gay relationships but what gets me is when you see two people who love each other, why deny it?  I know it doesn’t fit within the Christian paradigm, but you know they love each other.

So, since they apparently love each other, that makes it ok, right?  Not really, but that isn’t the point of this post.  The point is that Christians need to stop attacking gat couples and denouncing the love that they feel.  I know it is not what the Bible describes and it is not what we might identify as the correct type of love, but how many heterosexual relationships are based off the same type of love, yet they are not denounced?

Christians need to approach people in a different way.  Not all Christians will run up and bash someone by saying they are living a sinful lifestyle.  Until the Law came, no one knew what sin was, so why try to preach the law to people who are not living under it?  Kind of sounds like I am tossing them a free pass, but that is not the case.  I think we can not dismiss the feelings that they feel towards each other and call them false.  That insults the people and turns them away.  Why make someone defensive before they heard about the love of Jesus?

Somewhat of a rambling post, but it strikes me as odd every time someone so casually dismisses what others hold to be true.  It happens with religion and relationships.  We see it in political and social views.  Why insult the person before getting to know them?  Why approach people from such an arrogant position in the first place?  Listen to me because I am right?  I do not think so.  I will not listen to you because you have devalued me.

As a Christian, I know there is a right and a wrong, but you cannot lead off beating people over the head with it.  Reveal it through a position of mutual respect.  We are not superior to anyone despite the fact that we are saved.  In fact, being saved should mean that we are servants.  Let’s approach from that position instead.