As a young child, I was taken to church regularly. My Mother grew up Lutheran and my Father grew up Southern Baptist. I guess you could say they found common ground at a Methodist Church. I can remember going to Awana’s, Sunday school and sitting in the pews for what seemed like days. My parents would go early for bible study and seemed to have a lot of friends at the Church. I remember my dad saying that he couldn’t take it anymore. The gossip and snide comments, the constant reminder to monetarily tithe. There was always an opinion on every matter. My parents made the choice to not return to church.
How many of you have a story similar to the one you just read? In my 34 years on this Earth, I have heard countless stories of people being asked to leave the church for various reasons. Pastors who wouldn’t marry members of the congregation because they were living together, had been divorced, had premarital sex or had children out of wedlock. The same pastors will preach on forgiving child molesters, infidelity and supporting the incarcerated. All of this is something I guess. But is anyone picking up on the double standard?
Christians have very strong opinions on same sex marriage, abortion, divorce and premarital sex. I can’t ever say I’ve sat through a sermon on murder, lies or gossip. If you believe in the Bible, then you should believe that a sin is a sin is a sin…. No sin is worse than another. With that mind set committing murder and lying to my husband are equally sinful. Something to think about.
Very rarely have I met I man where the following statement was true: He was the same man on Sunday morning as Saturday night. Meaning, Church isn’t a place to go to fool your neighbors. If you are basing your opinions, on a person, whether or not you see them in church, that’s a problem.
When my girls started coming into the world I wanted them raised in the church. I wanted them to have a strong sense of faith and community. The problem I found with organized religion is that church is no longer a safe haven of love and hope. Once you get to know everyone, there are deep layers of judgement and gossip. How can you be God loving and judgemental in the same sentence?
The truth is…. a congregation is two or more like minded believers. You don’t need a church to be close to the holy spirit. You don’t need the acceptance of a Minister that doesn’t walk a Godly path all seven days of the week. You don’t need to worry about what you wear into God’s house. You don’t need to worry about giving 10% of your earnings to the church (I’ll clear that up later). You don’t need to sit and wonder why you aren’t a part of certain cliques and circles. Now does this happen in every church? I believe it does, but some are worse than others.
If you are around a Christian who starts an argument with “The Bible Says,” RUN! Christians have become very good at cherry picking a bible to support their opinions. Honestly Y’all it’s sad and disgusting and desperate.
I will not teach my girls to hate anyone for any reason. The bible says if Jenny is gay she is going to hell…. Well does it? The facts are that avoiding shell fish is mentioned more in the bible than homosexuality. As a parent the only thing coming out of your mouth should be “They live a different life than us and that’s okay.” or “We don’t believe that in our house but everyone is different.” Those two sentences can be applied to literally any situation in your life.
The point of life is to love and be loved. To be a guiding force of love and support. Most importantly, it’s not to look down and condemn. My God is an all loving God. My Jesus preached to drug addicts, prostitutes and murderers. He healed the blind and walked on water. The only person who can judge anyone is….. Well it’s definitely not us.
I’m not saying every church is bad. I’m not saying to take in felons because Jesus would. I’m saying that if you are hiding behind the words of the bible, or holding it up in anger to support your cause. You are the problem and you should pray for an open heart and eyes that can see and ears that can hear. Take a few days to dig deep and read again.
Our children deserve to grow up in our world that is loving. Bad things will always happen and we can’t protect them from everything. We do have control over what they see and hear. Change the dialogue. Do not teach them to fear Jesus. Do not teach them that if they sin the fires of hell will burn them for eternity. Teach them that the bible is the greatest love story every written. With confidence, tell your children that they are always loved beyond measure.
I believe in God. I believe in the Bible. I believe that we have the power to heal and guide. I believe that if you can’t afford to give the Church 10% of your income off the top but you can buy one sleeping bag for a homeless person, then you have fulfilled that obligation. If you can’t afford the sleeping bag but you do have an hour of your time to volunteer at a soup kitchen, you have fulfilled that obligation. If you are the mom that takes in stray kiddos every evening and shows them what a family looks like, you have fulfilled that obligation.
Life isn’t easy. Be kind to one another! Above all remember what the word Christian used to stand for, and then ask yourself if your beliefs and actions line up with that. Do not follow blindly, we all know right from wrong.
Are you part of the problem?
Is the king James bible legit?
When King James began his reign religion was a big problem. The Church was teaching from one Bible and the people were reading another at home. King James made one bible for everyone. But when he did this did he omit versus and add ones to suite his reign? Of course he did. Did you ever wonder why more women aren’t mentioned in the Bible? This is just one example I can think of that will make you wonder what was left out.
I’ve always wondered why Christians stand outside of plant parenthood screaming “Murderer!!!” as women walk through the doors to make the hardest decision of their lives. Wouldn’t it make more sense to hold a sign saying “I’m Praying for you?” or “Willing to give your baby a good home”? I wonder how many women would change their minds if they knew they were being embraced with non judgement and love.
Are you approachable?
When someone comes to you with a problem how do you act? Do you make eye contact? Do you lean forward and show them in your body language that you are invested in what their saying? Do you have empathy for others? My mom always said “you have no idea what others go through. A smile and hello go a really long way.”
Do you pray when you say you will?
One of the greatest sins of all is saying you will pray for someone and not doing it. Be aware of this! It take .5 seconds to like someone’s Facebook comment and 1 second to comment “sending prayers”. Follow through is everything. Learn to pray for the good, bad, ugly and OTHERS!
Follow these three steps: Pray, Listen and Search Scripture.
Before giving your two cents about a situation remember that the bible is the closest thing we have to knowing God’s heart and the soul of Jesus. Please stop spreading hate, anger and fear. Show the world who you believe Jesus really was!