The thing is, it pains me to admit it, but there is quite a lot I miss about being a church-goer. Music first and foremost. I love the music at church, really I do. Hence, my need to play my Hillsong CD. But it goes beyond the music. I miss the focused time of worship. I miss the feeling of being part of a like-minded group of people. Because, although I am no longer a church-goer, I still believe. So why don’t I go back you wonder? Basically it’s a matter of principle. Let me explain.
I was born into a family of church-goers and although my parents faltered here and there, we were basically always church-goers. But being a church-goer doesn’t always make you a Christian (aint that the truth!!)
I became a Christian of my own accord at the age of seven. And this is where the fun started because for me being a Christian has always been a wrestling match. Christianity doesn’t come naturally to me. Me and my God have had a lot of fun trying to mould this stubborn, argumentative soul into something that comes even close to the accepted Christian norm. And, trust me, we have a WAY to go yet! A LONG way.
I was born obnoxious and with a pottymouth. (I have this vision of myself arriving on the delivery room table saying to my mother “Shit a brick woman, what took you so long?!” ) And those two personality traits don’t bode well for someone of the Christian ilk! And then there’s the bit where I reached puberty and boys became so pretty…. that was always going to be a troublesome time for God and me…
So God and I have a tough time of it, but we get by. The Church and I… now that’s a whole different business!
Ever since the day I accepted that Jesus died for my sins I have struggled against all the stupid rules and regulations that “the church” tried to force on me. It's not that I refuse to believe, I totally DO NOT believe, that all these rules and regulations come even close to what Jesus for us.
I spent many, many years ignoring the irritating bits, and trying to focus on enjoying the good bits, in whatever church I happened to find myself in at that particular time. I tried different churches, hoping I’d find one that was a better “fit”,but it was always like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.
The “end of the road” happened for me last year. It was a “the straw that broke the camels back” moment. Remember my excitement when the Anglican church seemed to be seeing the light regarding their gay parishoners? (see this post) Ja, well my excitement was short lived. Last year our local church sent out a letter inviting us all to join the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. Basically the fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is turning its back on the very things that so excited me in my “Seeing the light” post…. They are anti just about every single thing that made me proud to be an Anglican…
And that was the end of the road for me and churches in general. I will not be a part of any organisational structure that discriminates against any person simply because they are different.
(And don’t give me this nonsense that gays CHOOSE to be gay. They are born gay. God made them that way. Get over it! )
When you are someone as profoundly screwed up and flawed as I am you have to believe and trust that God loves you no matter what. If I believe that God loves me unconditionally, then it follows that he loves EVERYONE unconditionally, no matter their skin colour, their physical abnormality, their sexual orientation, or anything else that sets them apart from their fellow man. If God loves and accepts all these people, then the church should to. If the church doesn’t then I will have no part in the church.
Which leaves me, alone, in my car, singing along to Hillsong. And happier being there than in a pew.