I’ll admit that I’ve been in a “faith shift” of sorts lately. Certainly not shifting away from my love of Jesus or the Bible and it’s teachings. I’ve actually fallen MORE in love with Jesus and studying God’s word lately, but I’ve been worn out from the exclusivity of most religions and quite frankly, it has kept me from attending any church regularly for several years. Also....
I’m worn out from all the double standards I see in most churches these days.. The in-fighting, hypocrisy, and arrogance that seems to be coming from religious leaders these days is disturbing and frankly, extremely off-putting. The “Who’s right/Who’s wrong” game is strong right now.
I’m worn out from having questions about things that don’t make sense in the Bible and being labeled a trouble-maker for bringing them up.
I’m worn out from having someone who interprets something in the Bible differently than me telling me I’m “being deceived”, as if they have a better connection with God than I do so there is no way it’s the other way around.
I’m worn out from having to explain to my LGBTQ friends why they aren’t allowed in the “Christian Club” because of their sexuality, when they had no choice in the matter.
I’m worn out from seeing my divorced friends feeling like outcasts from a church home they loved and now aren’t welcome in because the church “picked his/her side”. Apparently there is no way the church can minister to both sides. Sad.
I’m worn out from women being held back and told they aren’t allowed to use their gifts to honor God because “the Bible says women aren’t allowed to teach.” Heck, if we believe the Bible, we aren’t even allowed to TALK! Whoops.
I’m worn out from the political bias. If you are truly a Christian, you can only vote Republican? News to me!
I’m worn out from seeing friends who gave their hearts to church ministry for many years, only to get discarded because the church elders now want to “go in a new direction”. They lose their job, their friends, their church home... all in one swoop. Heartbreaking.
The bureaucracy, the hypocrisy, the political attachments, the exclusivity.... all things about today’s Americanized version of Christianity in many churches that I believe would grieve Jesus should he walk in one today.
All that being said.... I love Christian community, fellowship, and group worship.... and I have missed it because the things I just listed above have kept me away for several years now. I am grateful to have recently found a church that I am comfortable in again. One that loves and welcomes the people I love. One that gives much room for questions, contemplation and healthy examination of scripture. One that encourages me to find my own connection to Jesus, my own personal faith... not a borrowed one.
If you are thriving in your church, you are blessed. If you are not, my encouragement today is DON’T GIVE UP. Keep searching for your people, your community, your faith. Christians are only human and can get it wrong sometimes, but please don’t let the failures of human beings run you away from a God who adores you. He is there... and He is waiting for you. I don’t have everything figured out, but I know that to be TRUE.
Have a beautiful weekend friends!!