Sunday, January 15, 2006
Organized Religion, Hypocrisy and Personal Belief...
I realize that many of you don't know what my religious proclivities are. I have gotten emails assuming that I am a religious freak and others that I am an atheist. Maybe that's because I myself am unsure how to publicly label myself.
I don't want to be one of those terribly cliché people that proclaim that they are spiritual but "they don't believe in organized religion"...but that's kind of where I am in my life.
You have to understand that I had a strict evangelical upbringing. Christian school for 12 years, Christian girl scouts (called Pioneer Girls), Christian summer camp, Christian youth group and Christian after-school activities... I realize that no one is perfect, but through all of this I saw so much hypocrisy and personal insecurity. Especially throughout my high school career. The result being that neither of my children has ever seen the inside of a church....or been baptized...
The one thing I think I may have done differently than others disillusioned by "the Church" is-- I didn't take it out on God. It's not his fault people pervert his Word. I've never understood people that blame God for man's foibles. I've always assumed he's just as sad when man does ridiculous things.
I believe in a Supreme omniscient, omnipotent God. I believe Jesus is his son that died to save us. I believe in Creation (with subsequent evolution). I believe the Bible is God's word. I don't believe God cares how we dress, or if we're pierced and/or tattooed. I don't believe God wants us to be ashamed of sex or our bodies.
I probably won't ever go to "a church" again. When man dabbles in God's word it becomes perverted. It's very personal to me. I read my children the stories, but I don't want them to grow up with the strange and confusing contradictions that I had. When I was young I used to tell my parents that "my God was a lot cooler than their God" and I tell my kids that too. Isn't it an insult to think God would care or judge someone with a 3 ft. Mohawk or 20 tattoos as people in the Sudan were being slaughtered...?
To all those that have questioned just where my loyalties lay in the religious realm...that's the best way I can put it. I guess it boils down to the fact that though I consider myself a "born again Christian" I hate that most born-agains' judgmental nature and tendency to hate the "sinner and not the sin" drives people from the God they are charged with bringing people to. We are to lead by example and not by words. I can only hope that my life, my acceptance and helping hand will show others that have been disillusioned that "Christian" doesn't have to mean "judgmental stuck-in-the-mud".