My choice to not attend church on any type of regular basis has been brought into judgment, more than once, and has been done so more often and with harsher tone than in previous times. Not that I owe anyone an explanation for anything I felt maybe I should explain. then I got to thinking, I started to think it would make for a wonderful little topic to write on and so, here it goes.
I mean absolutely no offence to anyone by this post. I have met some very wonderful human beings through religion. I am not passing this judgment on those of you who do worship, and have found others to share in your faith. I applaud all of you, from every walk of faith, for the burden you bear, from those who do not believe, and (more harshly) those who believe differently that you do.
First of all, fuck you. Now that is out of the way please, allow to to elaborate and explain that sentiment.
I cannot recall ever ONE time reading in the bible (yes I HAVE read the bible …some of it), nor it ever being preached in a sermon, or taught in Sunday school that it was MANDATORY to go to church in order to have an active belief, faith in, and relationship with God (I will use the term god to refer to the higher power when speaking about religion, that is how I address according to my personal beliefs, if you believe in a higher power by another name fill that in as in most cases it wont really matter). Although I will give you that it was encouraged in every way. So, to those of you who have proclaimed that I have damned my soul for choosing to not attend religious service, I call bullshit. For your information, as a matter of fact, I believe I have a fairly great relationship with God. I know him well, as he knows me, and we speak often.
Perhaps it may be a good time to explain what it is that I DO believe. I was raised Baptist, and I went to church religiously (pun intended) with my great grandmother until her death when I was 10 years old. My mother, who is very displeased with my lack of religious practice, holds by great grandmothers death as the reason I chose to stop attending church.
She is mildly right.
My great grandmother was very active in the church we attended, and she was the right kind of Christian, she was a legitimately loving, peaceful, kind soul of a woman. She was the most wondrous example of wholesomeness. She exuded acceptance, wholehearted, unanimous acceptance. She was a rare human being, and I was blessed to have been loved by her.
Unfortunately, with her passing I was quickly shown that just because you are a bible reading, church- going person, as my great-grandmother was, does not mean you are a good natured, kind person. With my great- grandmother’s passing I was shown what a hypocrite was, and how vastly widespread the trait actually is. I realize that this trait spans to all groups of people, like a cancer, there is not a single collection of individuals where hypocrites do not dwell, but in no other group do I feel hypocrites do more harm than any other is religion. To preach tolerance, but be so judgmental of others, to break every commandment listed and hung on a wall, but to pledge your devotion on Sunday morning, to cast hatred, pure hatred, on others for not fitting into your mold of acceptance, to pray for the neighbor, friend, or relative that you spoke ill about in the parking lot before you took your seat at the pew. I witnessed this, time, after time, after time, at church, after church, after church.
That doesn’t seem like the type of place I want to be.
So I took it upon myself to stop attending church, I have bounced around to this or that house of worship throughout this or that time in my life. I have never felt contentment with any set forth religion in totality.
I don’t really think any religion has it all right. And I don’t really think it matters what set of rules you follow to practice your faith. I think all that matters is that you have faith, legit faith. God knows whets in your heart, he is all seeing and all knowing, right?
I pray, often. I cry to God, and I thank him when I feel thankful. I realize where he has blessed me and I realize where my faith lacks.
when people find out about my religious views I get asked a lot of questions, The biggest one is:
Since you don’t go to church what do you think will happen when you die?
Well, I want to be a tree when i die, but I get that the question is in regards to my soul. I’m not a believer in reincarnation, so I believe when you die, you die, that’s it. (unless you’re a ghost). I believe there are rules to salvation, paradise, the pearly gates to heaven. I believe everyone is born with a free ride to heaven when they die, no intervention by man necessary. I do not believe baptism is necessary, although a lovely gesture. I do not believe that if a newborn child is born, suddenly has complications and tragically dies minutes after first obtaining life, I cannot believe that child’s soul will spend eternity in hell, or limbo, or any other final destination other than heaven. That’s why I believe we are all born with a ticket to heaven, if you end up in hell, you earned your way there.
I believe in heaven and hell, I believe in god I just don’t believe in the way organized religion has bee set forth, and I don’t feel it is necessary for the preservation of my eternal soul. I believe heaven has just as many serial killers as priests and hell has a section full of preachers. what matters is what is in your heart. Repentance is there if your heart means it.
I don’t really think that it matters what religion you choose to have, and practice. I think what its really about is being a good person and admitting when you fuck up, asking for another change and trying to get it right. If you think someone else is fucking their life up and its not hurting you or affecting you at all, pray for them. Its not up to you to point out what they are doing wrong, its not your soul they are going to be screwing up and condemning, if you MUST say something, say something encouraging. people know the religious views on controversial life choices, trust me on this, we don’t need another reminder. Perhaps what people who live a controversial life need is a friend, some acceptance of them for themselves, even if you disagree with their choices, it doesn’t excuse you making a bad choice to be judgmental.
That’s just what I believe