I was lost… (Part 1)

Posted on June 14, 2011

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I stopped going to church when I was about 18.  There wasn’t some big event that lead me to stop going, no crisis of faith, no scandal, none of that, I just stopped going.  At first it was because I had a job that required that I work on Sundays, and it also required travel, so on the Sundays I wasn’t working I was on the road.  I will say that choosing not to go wasn’t that hard of a choice for me, as I had started having…issues, a disconnect if you will, between what felt right in my heart and what the church was telling me was right.   I will admit that when I first stopped going I rebelled, in a manner of speaking, I did everything I was taught not to do in church as I was growing up.  I should probably state that I grew up LDS, so drinking and smoking, something that most people wouldn’t consider all that bad, was included in that list of “shall nots” among other things…I never did anything truly “bad” it was more an immersion into the more hedonistic aspects of our society.

As time passed, I became more adamant that church wasn’t for me, my view points about many of the “hot topics” became more liberal, I picked up a smoking habit, I liked having a beer once in a while, and the people…the Christians…I saw  in the media, online, and sometimes in real life…the loud ones, as I liked to call them, the ones that spoke the loudest about what was “right” and what was “wrong”, were pretty much everything I aspired not to be.  I could get into a whole rant about the “loud ones”, suffice to say, they are the ones talk about knowing Jesus, and preach hate.  The ones that worry about whether Bert and Ernie, or Tinky Winky are gay, when the thought would never even occur to a child, rather than seeing the real problems of the world, hunger, poverty, genocide, and disease.   The ones who speak one thing, and do the opposite.  The ones who use Jesus like a get out of jail free card…yes you can be forgiven, but I believe it needs to be sincere, and with aspirations of doing better, not knowingly making the same mistake over, and over again.  I couldn’t, in good conscience, participate in any church if that is what they expect their members to be like.

I had other issues, even with churches whose members weren’t quite like the “loud ones”, but it was mainly their style of worship, which is more the contemporary, non-denominational, with people rocking out in church, and the members swaying with their hands raised.  Let me state, that there is nothing wrong with that kind of worship, if that is how God moves you, then by all means, rock on.  However, it is not what I am comfortable with…despite my “liberal” leanings, I prefer a more “traditional” or orthodox style of service.  I couldn’t come to terms with some of the verbiage the members seemed to use a lot, the talk of being convicted, or on fire for Jesus, etc…again, there is nothing wrong with it, and if that is how they are moved to speak about their faith, then it is not my place to say it is wrong, for them.  It is wrong for me…it feels wrong coming out of my mouth, and I tried, but it felt like I was reciting lines, badly… I didn’t feel them, I couldn’t feel them, they just felt insincere coming from my mouth.  For a long time I blamed myself for this, I figured that I just didn’t believe enough, that I was doing something that was keeping me from feeling the spirit, something that kept me from making the words come sincerely from my mouth.  I still felt that disconnect, I couldn’t align my heart with what I felt was expected of me, and I wasn’t going to go, and go through the motions.  I didn’t want to become the hypocrite people despised…so I stayed away.  I never stopped believing in God, but I felt that I just didn’t fit in with the rest of his followers.

I have a main point to all of this, and I feel a real need to articulate it in writing, but putting it all in one post would be extremely long-winded, even for me, and I will continue in another post.    Basically I let people get in between me and God…or maybe I let myself get in between myself and God…I am not sure, but I stayed away for 16 years, and now I feel the need to get out the reasons why, and what brought me back.

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Posted in: Random