Lately, I’ve been getting really deep with myself. I’ve been asking myself some really hard questions. I don’t know that I have all the answers yet, but there’s been a certain level of clarity going on in my head. The questions have been regarding religion–specifically Christianity–and even more specifically regarding the denomination I belong to.
I thought I’d just write for the sake of trying to further the clarity, or at least to further help the questions to gel in my mind.
Basically, here’s my struggle that’s going on. When I think about Christianity in it’s purest sense, I am completely sold on it and I love it. I think about heaven and how I expect it will be quite amazing and pure and good. I long for the eternal days without sin and temptation (and lust). I think of the fellowship and friendships we’ll have in God’s kingdom. It excites me and gives me hope. I seriously long for it.
And as far as my take on Christianity goes, I believe that Jesus intended for the church to be his kingdom of heaven planted here. I’ve always felt that the church should be the one place where we can be united in kingdom principles, inspired by righteous living according to Scripture, and where we can find heavenly fellowship among others who believe the same as we do. I felt that we could find love and edification in the church. I felt we would be united in one accord and that we would strive to spread the great experience we are having to others because it’s so amazing. But, unfortunately, I haven’t found the church to be that AT ALL!
Instead, my experience with the church has been a lot of fighting and arguing. I’ve found it frustrating and disappointing. I don’t find love and edification. It looks to me like everyone has their own interpretation of Scripture and has chosen to live according to what they pick out and then just ignore the rest. Church standards which were decided upon long ago and that have stood the test of time seem to be going out the window today–I guess because we’re so much more enlightened now? It seems like we just can’t even agree on what the principles of God’s kingdom are anymore. Some feel judged. Some feel angry.
I would say that I feel tired. I feel like I’m tired of showing people what the Scriptures say about God’s will. I feel like people just get mad when you tell them what God wants them to do. I feel like many don’t care. I feel like I need edification and I’m not getting any. Instead, it seems like I’m expected to just be an endless fountain of edification for others. I’m not! I feel weak and feel like I’m getting weaker all the time. I push and get pushed back. I recover and push again, only to be pushed back again. I’m trying to be God’s servant, His messenger of truth. I’m trying to share the blessings God wants to give people. But, what I’m seeing is a whole lot of people who just aren’t interested. They’re set in their ways and don’t want anyone else to have anything to say about it, “thank you very much!”
So, as a result I don’t feel unity. I don’t feel like I relate to my “brethren”. I don’t foresee us going out into the world together to spread the “good news” because we haven’t yet agreed on what it is. So, I am asking myself, “what’s the point”.
I’m just hanging in there trying to make a positive difference. But, I feel like I’m not really doing a very good job. I feel depleted and like I don’t have anything to give anymore. I’m not really sharing with others outside of my church either because I feel kind of like a boat adrift. I don’t know what I’m a part of anymore. I’m unclear about what I should be inviting people to in a sense.
I’m still solid on the basics. I know God is good and He is love. I see that all the time. I know He loves me and cares for me. I also see evidence of that all the time. I think God is amazing. I think the Bible has brought me profound clarity in so many of life’s questions. I know that Jesus has provided for me the opportunity to have eternal life and salvation. I’m grateful! But, this religion thing!…. What to do, what to do…
It seems to me that the church I’m part of is NOTHING like the church I expect to be part of in heaven. So, what am I part of now? Why am I part of it? Are my expectations skewed? Etc… In the meantime, I just seem to keep “hanging in there”–perhaps because I just don’t know the answers yet to many of these questions I’m having.