I was raised in a very Christian home so have experienced it first hand. My parents took my brothers and I to church every Wednesday evening and Sunday mornings every week. We sat there and listened to all the adults speak their piece and sang along with the hymns.
One year at the yearly convention I even “professed” my dedication to the church as I thought I was ready. Then there were the daily prayers, studying my bible in preparation for meetings and speaking my own piece at the weekly meetings. I felt I was truly a part of things.
As time went by I said my prayers and asked for help, not just for me but for my mom too as I come from a “dysfunctional” home. My dad could be very abusive and mom took the brunt of things so I figured she could use the help.
My brothers and I suffered a lot at his hands as well but no help came for us either. Several years passed and there didn’t seem to be any help coming so I started to lose faith in this process. Eventually I quit going to church altogether and gave up praying.
While I was attending church, I felt I was getting mixed messages as well. God was kind, understanding, patient, forgiving and loved all living things unconditionally yet somehow he was vengeful and someone to be feared at the same time.
HUH? How did that make sense? This was a Being who knew all and sees all so he must have understood that we are only human and sometimes make mistakes. If I did something wrong or hurt someone else, was it not better to forgive and be patient as I learned.
If I sometimes didn’t follow the ways of the church was that something to be punished for?? Or could I not be forgiven and shown a better way?? Why was I made to feel guilty if I missed saying my prayers once in awhile or didn’t read my bible every day?
So many rules to follow and fear to keep me in line. Such a strict way to keep people from thinking for themselves. Where was free will in all of this? And, if I was gonna be punished, how come my dad could be such an ass and get away with it??
I will admit church does create a sense of community. But a community held together by people who fear their God and people who couldn’t freely express who they truly are for fear of being punished. All people aren’t all they can be all of the time, but they aren’t any less of a person. They should be free to share their weak moments without fear of being reprimanded I would think.
Don’t get me wrong, I think religion has its place. We all have our own journey and if being part of something so controlling is part of that journey, then who am I to judge? I know my mom for one would have struggled far more had she not had her sense of community with the church.
In the end, I can definitely say that church was only a very brief part of my journey. If only long enough to know what I’m talking about to write this blog. LOL
Personally, I like the path I am on now far more than the path set out by the church. Fear no longer has a place in my life, neither does guilt or being reprimanded. I have learned much since my church days and realize that this my journey and NO ONE has the right to judge me for anything I do.