Weird Place…

17 10 2013

I am in a weird place. I doubt I am the first human to be in this space, but it is a first for me. My faith is not diminishing, but my faith in organized religion is. I have felt for a long time that it is hard to be associated with a group that brings so much judgment and discourse to the world. This is not new. A visit through history will confirm this. For a religion based on “Love God with your whole heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”, there has not been a whole heck of a lot of loving going on. We have killed and hurt a lot of folks in the name of “saving” them. Look at the Crusades – war in the name of Jesus. Or what people did to Native Americans in the name of salvation, refusing to let them speak their own language, taking kids away from their parents and putting them into Children’s homes to help them become “civilized”. What were those people thinking?! I guess they thought they were actually on a mission from God.

This is where my problem comes in, the God I know and love isn’t hurting people, He is loving them. Right now my church is doing LGBT education in preparation for a vote in November on performing Same-Sex blessings. That should be exciting! But for some reason, which I can’t explain, it is not sitting well with me. I can not even pin down the reason why. Is it the naysayers? Is it the fact that we are presenting “both” sides of the argument? As far as “both” sides of the argument, I guess I feel like the “traditional” side has had plenty of years to shove what they think down everyone’s throats. After all, the “traditional” side has been the only side we have heard until about 40 years ago. Is It just me, or does it seem odd that people were categorized as mentally ill all based on what was written in an ancient religious book?

Ah – I think I just found my source of discourse! Writing is such good therapy! I always discover something about myself when I write. I am angry that the bible is used as a weapon against people. I think people don’t really read the bible to find God so much as to find excuses to behave they way they want to behave. I mean that book is full of weird stories – a person could probably justify just about anything using that book. I am pretty sure that is not how God intended it to be used.

Bottom line, I don’t know what is right for anyone, except for myself. I do not know if I can continue to be associated with Christianity, yet I love Christ. It is a very unsettling place to be. I wish Jesus would show up and have a cup of coffee this morning and tell me what to do. I guess that would require no faith, so what would be the point? I want the mystery of my faith, I want my relationship with my God. It is like that saying: “I love God, but his followers are driving me crazy”. That is exactly how I feel. Yet, maybe that is what challenges me to love more, show more compassion, and be more like Jesus? Maybe I am being called to love even when I don’t feel like it. If I extend love to the ones I see as unlovable, I would be doing what I want them to do. I guess I will just start with me for today. I am the only person I can control anyway.

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3 responses

17 10 2013
Rachel

We are all being called to love even when we don’t feel like it…maybe even especially then. It’s the amazing thing about grace–Jesus loves me even though I am always screwing up.

I do completely understand how you are feeling, though, as I’ve felt the same way now for a few years. Y’all attend “church” much more regularly than we do. I try, but just end up being discouraged and sometimes even disgusted. It is so very difficult to understand the Church here. So much talk about love and yet it isn’t living out what it speaks. On the flip side, I often think that people like us need to be part of the institutional church because, if we don’t, who will be there to love those who feel unloved and judged????

I wish I had answers, but I struggle with these things myself. Have you read “Love Does” by Bob Goff? I just read it and I LOVED it. It’s an easy read…hilarious, convicting, insightful, and full of wisdom. Grab it at Barnes and Noble and read it. Let me know your thoughts.

You know I love you. 🙂

17 10 2013
Rachel

I’ve been thinking about this all afternoon. I think that sometimes we tend to focus on the ugliness that we see around us, both in the church and out of it. I also just finished a book by Heidi Baker about her life and work in Africa (Mozambique). Sometimes, maybe even most of the time, perhaps we should focus on the good that Christians are doing…the love that is being poured out all over the world. It’s easy to get caught up in the yuck. In fact, it’s probably where the devil would like us to dwell. He would never want us to see light or be encouraged by those doing things the right way. He much prefers us to be discouraged and hopeless. Instead, let’s choose to believe in the power of our Father to change hearts. It’s our privilege to love. It’s His promise to change hearts.

17 10 2013
rainbowicecream

oh Rachel – I am grateful to have you in my life. This is exactly something I want to start working on. I think part of it is human nature. I heard once that for everything negative thing someone says to us, we need 6 positives to make up for it. I think it is easy to let the bad outweigh the good!! But there is SO MUCH more good!!!! I am going to just keep trusting Jesus and really try and focus on the good! LOVE YOU!!! Thank you so much!!!

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