Friday, April 24, 2009

The Big Question

I mentioned a while back that something was bugging me.  I want some outside perspective on the issue.  I know that religion will always be something that no one will ever agree on, but I am so torn since deciding last year to transition from agnostic to Baptist.  Allow me a little back story...

I was raised in a non-denominational Christian church.  That can mean many, many things to many, many different churches.  In the church in which I grew up one of the things it meant was that we believed in the manifestations of spirits.  That went for the Holy Spirit (i.e., talking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, etc.) as well as demonic spirits.  There was a phase in our small church where they cast out demons of everything from pornography to laziness (I was on the receiving end of that laziness one).  I was told one summer at church camp that I was molested by a warlock and had his evil spirits passed on to me.  I am pretty sure that the "evil spirits" of which they spoke were related to my sense of defiance based on rationality.  When they would push on my forehead to slay me in the spirit I would dig in and push back.  One thing they did manage to do was instill a deep fear of the dark side.  I was told that opening my mind to meditation, for something like yoga, opened the doors to allow spirits to inhabit me.  

Knowing that history, you might be able to see why I turned my back on religion altogether as soon as I got out of my parents' house.  Religion was confining and scary and hypocritical.  There was always the nagging in the back of my mind that God did exist, I was simply too pragmatic to fully buy in.  To this day, I still have so many questions and concerns and realities that counteract my intentions of being a Christian.

I was talking to Savannah at work today.  She is a relatively new Catholic.  I asked her about some of the finer points of Catholicism.  One of my questions is why there is so much weight given to Mary and the other saints.  Unfortunately, she has not been a student of the religion long enough to answer those questions.  She is, however, going to find resources for both of us to better understand.  It's not that I think that one religion has the answers that the rest do not, I just want to know the answers of all religions so I can decide whether or not I think they are all fatally flawed.

It comes down to this; I don't know how to accept Christianity in my life.  When I raise these issues to my pastor he says to focus on my relationship with God.  But then I go to church and they tell me that in order to have a relationship with God I have to follow His word.  Then I start reading His word and there are contradictions left and right.  He is a loving God vs. He is a wrathful God.  He understands your heart vs. He will spit you out of his mouth like vile water if you are lukewarm in your relationship with him.  And don't even get me started on the social issues.  I simply cannot accept that Jesus wanted us to use shame, isolation, and harsh words in order to show people the ways of their sin.  Prop 8 anyone?

So, am I not really a Christian?  If I doubt or dislike some of the fundamentals of the Christian faith (take the whole Old Testament for instance), how can I truly live for Him?  I am a skeptic at best and a hypocrite at worst.  


  1. I am so not touching this topic.

    One thing I will say, God isn't religious.

  2. Ah Liberty...I was really hoping to get your opinion. There aren't any wrong or offensive answers. But I know...religion and politics...not in polite conversation.

  3. I sort of have my own religion--I mean, I have a relationship with God, but it's based in the concepts of doing good for others, the so-called "Golden Rule" of treating others as you want to be treated (or better than you want to be treated ... it seems to me that this is Christ's bottom line, and honestly I think it's a pretty good one).

    I have a couple of blog posts that made me think of you. It's annoying when somebody just clicks links to their own blogs, but I've been giving your post a lot of thoughts, and I think my best answers (or at least thoughts on the subject are here,


    and here:

    Good luck,
    <3 KLo

  4. Hey, I kept forgetting to check back to this blog to see if you had replied to what I said, and I just now finally remembered. I rather talk about this on a blog sometime, and then that way it's on my own grounds. I just feel it's better to discuss it like that, rather than here. It's under my comfort zone, so if anyone says anything negative, I can take it no problem. I don't know why that should make sense, but it does. =/