Monday, September 05, 2005

On Being Christian

Maybe I am way off base here, but where exactly in the bible does it say that we as mere human beings have the right to judge others on the basis of individuality? If someone could kindly find that scripture and post it in the comments section, I would be delighted to read it. Because I, apparently missed that section in Sunday School. Don't get me wrong, I can be judgemental as well and more than likely, could present evidence. What I am writing of today is more along the lines of other cultures and homosexuals. I bring this up today because yesterday I went to church. Now, I haven't been to church in quite some time, but that does not make me a bad person. It makes me a person who does not feel that you must be within the stone and mortar of a church in order to worship His name, in order to pray, in order to believe. It makes me a person who enjoys the feeling of going to church, but does not quite enjoy the feeling of being preached to. I absolutely love a Sunday where I can leave church feeling that I have learned something about God, about myself and about my relationship with Him. I love feeling that the world is generally good and loving, not selfish and greedy as it seems on most days. I love hearig a great sermon and seeing in reflected within myself. Feeling as if I have learned a new way to respect myself and others and help those who need helping. Attending church really does have a way of brightening your day. That is, until this Sunday.

On most accounts it was a lovely church. The people were friendly and the atmosphere was one of warmth and kindness. We began by singing a few songs I had never heard before so I had to pretend I knew them...that was kinda funny in itself. The pastor got up, but I wasn't even sure he was the pastor. I figured he was a deacon or music minister, but never would have guessed pastor. He made a somewhat off color joke in my opinion about how it was exciting that the congregation had beat the southerner's in attendance this week. Meaning, those who were affected by the hurricane. I know he was attemping to be amusing and light-hearted, but I did not see the humor in that situation. There was never a clearly defined sermon. I could not even tell you what he had intended his sermon to be for that matter. The only thing I got from it was that he was trying to promote the Southern Baptists. He kept saying what wonderful people they were and what great things they did, and that it was "okay to be Southern Baptist". He said that many were starting to open their homes to people who had been displaced by the hurricane. His only comment was not one of love and gratitude, it was caution on who they welcomed into their home. My only guess could be that he was speaking of those who were "different" than him; a large, white man who spoke of how well the church paid him.

After his words of warning, he spoke of the emails he had been receiving from the congregation. The messages were appauling to me. One asked if the hurricane was a punishment from God for the all the people in the area who were living "alternative lifestyles". He denied the claim, but not whole heartedly, not convincingly. It was very obvious that it's not okay to be gay. I was furious. I just can't wrap the idea around my wee little brain that it makes one damn bit of difference to anyone else how someone loves another. I know that it is not something I personally want to pursue, but where do I have the right to tell someone else who they can and cannot love? And even if I didn't believe in it, I would never be able to condemn them for finding something that I too have searched for. Love. I have ranted about this before on April 14, so for now, I will get off my soap box on that subject.

All in all, I left feeling completely unfulfulled. I felt let down and in a way like I had let Him down. When we were asked to take a few moments of silent prayer, do you know what I prayed? I asked God to please open my heart to the idea of this church. I asked him to please not allow me to judge them so quickly when it was their judgements that were turning me away. I begged in fact, that there would be something that would make me want to return and worship there every Sunday. Unfortunately, there was nothing that would hold me there. I have gathered that He did not send me a divine sign to stay, as he does NOT want me to be uncomfortable when I am supposed to be joyful. I will find a church that I feel at home in and there will be no question. The roommates and I left church and went to lunch. We sat and poked fun at the "worst church service I have ever been to". It was rather funny, but still made me very sad. I got home and decided I would read a few blogs. I stumbled upon Katie's. She is a wonderful person who I am very blessed to call my friend. Her blog was of the wonderful experience she had in church that Sunday. I was instantly delighted that she had posted what a wonderful sermon there was. In a way, it gave me hope that I have not given up on organized religion all together. I would love to give it a her church.

I know this blog sort of fizzled, as I really don't know the words to express how I feel about this subject. I have faith. I believe. I just want to sit with other believers and know that their heart feels the same as mine. That we are all worthy of the same love and the same God. If we have judgement with him in the end, so be it. But in this time on Earth, I don't want to be judged by anyone other than Him. And vice versa.


cait marie said...

Ok, so I know that the service pretty much sucked, but I did enjoy the praise and worship. At least we had the opportunity to lift our voices in praise with other believers. In everything there is a bright side. I'm really sorry that you were offended by the church of my choice (not that I will ever call it my church home). I am just really ready to find a church that I can call my own right now. Lately I have been feeling a very empty hole in my heart and I just need to be refilled spiritually. Thank you very much for going with me and Ben Ben!!! I love you!!

EKWisdom said...

You are so completely right. I too was very glad that we were able to be around other believers because I know the hole of which you speak. Honestly, I think about it every day. I think I went into the whole situation with a closed mind as my class assignment was to critique the speaker. I may have gone a little overboard and even LOOKED for things to dislike. Look who's the hypocrit, right? Thank you so much for letting me go with you guys. I would be honored if you'd let me search for a church home with you. I love you too!!