I think Christianity and God/Jesus gets a bad rap, a lot of people love to hate Christians, they paint them as overly pious, moralizing, judgmental of anyone who doesn’t fit their “version” of Christianity, they are intolerant of anyone who is different from them, they are hypocrites; preaching one thing and doing another; spouting love and compassion one minute and the next ignoring the new church member beside them looking for a friend in Christ, some Christians. I think these are the things that non-church goers feel and their observations aren’t far from the truth. I feel that way and I consider myself a Christian. Some of the most judgmental people I have met have claimed to Christians, it disheartening and very hurtful.
But here’s where I disagree with the kinds of people who make these statements; they equate God and Jesus with the actions of the church. God is love and accepting of all, God isn’t going to abandon or ignore you like some in the church. But because of the actions of those in the church, it turns many away from God. How can Jesus be love and compassion if these are his followers, that’s difficult for me and I struggle with it.
I have to separate God/Jesus from Church/Religion. You can have God in your life, be in prayer, read the bible, practice the principles of Christianity and never set foot in a church. They say community is vital, worship is necessary but what if you don’t feel accepted?. How can I reach God here when I all I feel is hurt and bitterness? I can forgive but it doesn’t negate the fact that I feel uncomfortable in church settings because I know I’m being judged. I attend church begrudgingly and it sucks up my energy. Instead of making me feel closer to God, I feel further away, as far as I’m concerned he’s somewhere outside in the parking lot.
I don’t think I’ve ever truly, felt welcome at church, well maybe as a kid but not as an adult. I feel coldness and indifference, I feel no one really takes the time to know because they’ve developed their “holy cliques”. It’s like George Carlin used to say “They’re in the club and you ain’t in it”. That’s how I feel, out of place, misunderstood, ignored and people don’t want to know you because they’ve already pegged you as someone they don’t want to talk to, so you stand in the corner as people pass you by like you don’t even exist. Sigh, I wonder how many people have left church or never found God because they felt so unwelcome among these so called accepting Christians. And it’s all because of how we treat each other.
I personally find God in nature by myself, through the conversations I have with others, through miraculous things that defy explanation, through writing/art/music, through prayer, reading the bible and the love of my family but never in the church. But don’t think I’m not a Christian or don’t have God is my life. I love God but I struggle with his children, they’re the problem.