*Disclaimer: Please refer to my disclaimer page for any questions regarding my expertise. I’m not seminary-trained, do not hold a theology degree, and am not a licensed therapist or medical expert! Opinions are my own.
I know my blog isn’t just about Jesus, and most people don’t want to hear about my thoughts on theology 24/7. My updates about personal development, sobriety and healthy eating are much more interesting, I know.
But my faith journey is what led me to changing all three.
For a long time, I’ve had a dream in my heart to sit down and “flesh-out” my faith.
I discovered was that for me, abandoning God was never an option. Life without a Higher Power has never made sense to me. Creation demands a creator.
I’ve never had trouble believing in the big. It’s always resonated with me that although I might not know who or what it was, something had to have made all of this.
I deeply felt this on a subconscious level because I am a writer and a creative. I could throw a bunch of letters on a table, but until I sorted them out with my mind and hands, there would never be words, sentences or a book. Again, work of art implies someone created it.
The problem was that what my heart and eyes saw of God was different than what my mind had been taught about him by others.
For instance, I noticed that every year, life went on just about the same as it always had, and yet, all throughout my childhood, the Church had brainwashed me to believe we were living in “the end times,” the era where God would destroy all things as He’d always intended.
Not only did constantly hearing about the “coming apocalypse” invoke an immeasurable amount of fear in a tiny, impressionable human being, but it went against everything I was witnessing around me, which was that the sun rose and set, new life came and went, people grew and changed, and the world kept on spinning round and round, year after year, despite catastrophes, struggles and wars.
In fact, what I often noticed when terrible tragedies occurred was the opposite of the end: People banded together, pulled resources and loved harder than ever before.
With my belief that someday God would destroy Earth in question, I had to deal with my other issues, too.
There was the matter of God’s intent to torment most of His creation. Why would a God I’d been told was loving and kind-hearted, merciful and good, bring a bunch of people into the world only to harass them—not simply to destroy them, but to have them burn in an eternal torment… forever?
Something about that not only didn’t make a lick of sense but also seemed cruel, pointless and downright wrong.
Oddly, when I questioned this humongous issue of the Creator of the Universe being a horrible, vengeful dictator, I was called “disobedient and prideful.” Who are you to question the Potter? I was merely a lump of clay, and my lack of “faith” made it obvious God formed to be a “vessel of wrath, fit for destruction.” Only evil people had the nerve to question God. Didn’t matter that we were born with rational brains given by the same Father in Heaven meant to destroy well over half His creation. Just because we had the brains didn’t mean we were supposed to use them!
The way people interpreted inconsistently passages in the Bible started jumping out to me, as did many examples found within the text that oppressors had borrowed throughout the centuries to hold “others” down to harmful yokes of bondage.
I suddenly saw that my long-held, very one-sided viewpoints were not only possibly wrong, but if wrong, also dangerous to mankind.
Jesus had been a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant for far too long in my life, and it was time to put him back into his proper place in history!
This change in belief led to me taking the time to study the history of my faith through non-biased eyes. The Church taught that knowledge was “bad” and faith meant trusting that what was told to me by those at the top of the Big C Church pyramid was “Biblical truth.” But even at a young age I noticed certain verses and beliefs were cherry-picked and elevated over others, and that the Church allowed some people to get away with sin while crucifying others. My father taught that to question anything about the Bible, Big C Church or my Southern Baptist religion was akin to driving a bus straight to Hell.
Once I began studying the history of the Christian faith, however, my eyes burst from the sockets with revelations, left and right. Jesus himself was a most interesting character in Christianity (the very person our religion is based on, though it doesn’t seem much like it these days). He was who modern Christianity (medieval, too) claimed to worship–except the “Christians” in my life didn’t seem to worship him at all. They worshiped more the texts written after the four Gospels, especially the writings of an “Apostle” who never actually met Jesus while Jesus was living!
This stirred in me questions about the Church that had no answers—or maybe they did, but I sure the Big C would not give them to me.
I’m certain the Church can’t answer many of my questions, but for the first time in my life, I’m at peace with my newfound faith in the mystery of it all.
Jesus elevated the poor, oppressed, sick, hungry, needy. He loved the drunkards and the prostitutes and the lame and the eunuchs. He ate with tax collectors and other nefarious men and women despised by the Jews. Jesus loved those whom the Synagogue turned away, and he loved–even while chastising–the Jewish leaders, too.
I wanted to let my faith go; I really did. It was just that this Jesus guy… I couldn’t turn away from him. His pull was too strong, his love too alluring, his words too sweet for me to drop. I couldn’t turn away from his raw and honest emotion, his touch, his gentleness, pureness, goodness and righteousness. I wanted more of Jesus and less of religion. I wanted more Truth and more Love.
I love Church. I believe it’s a gift from our Creator. It’s just that we’ve mucked it all up, and I truly believe it’s time for truth-tellers and love-seekers to be respected and acknowledged.
I read the Bible. I hold it as a Sacred, Holy book. But I am not a Bible-idolator. I do not worship a book written by men, no matter how Sacred I believe it to be.
The Bible points to Christ, and it is so much deeper and richer and more meaningful than anyone reading it as a history, science or life-instruction book could ever make it out to be.
I love my fellow Christian brothers and sisters. But I also love all of humanity, and I believe the One who brought life into the world loves them, too.
Most of all, I love women. All women. I love men, too, and they’re welcome to read my blog, but I write for women, who for far too long have taken the blame for all of humanities’ ills, sat quietly and obediently, and refused to question the men in the Church.
It is strong women, made of bone and not of dirt, that I hope are set free from reading my blog. I hope they feel so free they come to love a Creator who adores and values them more than they could ever imagine.
See you soon,