It’s not even the hypocrisy anymore that annoys me as much as I feel as if I am overlooked and misunderstood when I talk to a Christian or go to church. It feels like every service I attend or every conversation about religion I get roped into is looking to change me. “I shouldn’t say this,” “I shouldn’t watch that,” “I shouldn’t love them.” I might as well not even leave my room.
You ask me things like, “How’s your heart?” Um… annoyed, confused, frustrated, empty. I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel sprinting towards something and not getting anywhere. You suggest, “You should just give it to God.” That’s your big advice? When I’m in the depths of despair, when I’m sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, when I don’t have the rent for the roof over my head, I’m supposed to “give it to God”? What does that even mean?
Religion is a joke! I’m tired of tiptoeing around how I feel about it. Nothing would make me happier than if the church and its people just stepped up and delivered what they claim. Like I said it’s not the hypocrisy, everyone is a hypocrite to some degree. I just want someone who is real with me. Someone who doesn’t just feed me the empty words that, “everything is going to be okay.” How do they know that? How can I believe that? From what I know about Jesus, He gave people that hope and assurance; met them right where they were, baggage and all. That’s something I think I could get behind, but this religious church stuff… no thanks.
Over the course of the next four weeks we will take an honest and real look at the generalizations that people make about religion, the Church, and our place in God’s plan for the world through his son Jesus.
WEEK ONE | August 12/13
Who’s to say, “I’m right” and “You’re wrong”? What makes the Christian church the authority on truth; if there is even such a thing? There are so many different religions and paths to follow. I think that whatever you believe, if you are sincere enough and believe enough, all spiritual paths end up at the same destination. Religion is divisive. Don’t make me choose sides. I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious.
WEEK TWO | August 19/20
Say the word ‘god’ and many different ideas come to mind. Spiritual force. All Encompassing Energy. Creator. Hands-off observer. What can we actually know about God? Can we actually know what God is like? A survey of the Bible seems to paint a picture of a God who is angry, jealous and destructive at some points, yet loving, caring and creative in others. When we talk about God, do we mean the same thing?
WEEK THREE | August 26/27
Even a casual look at the life of Christ can give one a sense of inspiration and admiration. The way he taught. The things he taught: “love your neighbor as yourself,” ”judge not lest ye be judged.” I am good with Jesus, but when I walk into a church, it doesn’t seem like the type of thing He would be a part of. I love Jesus, but I don’t like church.
WEEK FOUR | September 2/3
Daily life has changed so much since the time of Christ. Governments. Technology. Knowledge. Culture. The world today would be unrecognizable to someone from 2000 years ago. Ideas, styles, and inventions become irrelevant within years in our fast-changing culture. So how can we rely on a book written over 2000 years ago as a source of truth? Is the Bible still relevant? Is religion still relevant? Times are changing.