I'm a Christian. I'm proud to be a Christian. I have a personal relationship with God, and Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
I hate going to church.
It wasn't always that way. My parents didn't go to church. Alco-Pop was (at the time, I believe) an atheist, and She Who Must Be Kept didn't believe that church was the right place for her. To this day, I know she thinks that Jesus was a neat dude, but I don't know if she believes He was the son of God or whatever. She believes in a Higher Power, but that's about it.
I, on the other hand, from the age of eight onward have gone to church off and on. I've never found a good fit. I went tho this neat Come As You Are church for awhile with my baby sitter. It was great, and the Sunday school teacher was fabulous. I remember all the children coming to the front of the church to dance and sing. There were people with mohawks there and no one blinked.
I didn't care for the politics. The pastor's daughter was automatically the Queen of Everything. She got the lead roles in all the plays and everyone doted on her. She wasn't even especially talented, to be honest. And it was kind of unfortunate, because she had to have special lessons in the Bible because she was the pastor's daughter and I think they were grooming her to be clergy.
So then there was the Baptist church I went to with my friend in middle school. It was full of old people. I mean, you walked in there on a Sunday morning and you could SMELL the old. Like talcum powder and the faint hints of deaths fingers on all their shoulders, it was that bad. I was baptized there.
I didn't care for the way the youth was treated. Or, honestly, the fact that girls were basically told we were going to be good wives and mothers and--nothing else. That was all God wanted for us. Dude, for real? God gave me a brain and all He wants me to do is spit out babies? I think not.
Also, we had our little teen group. The pastor for that was about sixty. It's really hard to listen to a sixty year old tell me he knows all about being a teenager. We don't ride dinosaurs anymore. Also, he referred to us collectively as 'teenagers'. Gah. Shut up now, please.
We used to get promised we could do "REALLY COOL THINGS!" like go to fun places to eat--if WE could raise the money for it. Well, sorry, but I don't have a bunch of money to put in the offering every week.
Then there was the other Baptist church where they found out I like the pole and the hole and told me that I didn't belong there. That's pretty much all I want to say about that place.
Then there was my last foray into church going. The pastor THERE flat out told me that God wouldn't speak to me and I was going to Hell. Oh. Okay. First time you've ever met me and that's what you're going to tell me?
I was maybe seventeen, probably sixteen. I was sitting there, sobbing because this cunt muffin (whom I am supposed to be trusting to put my on a path closer to God, who himself is supposed to be close to God!) and he's telling me that everything I believe is WRONG. And then he goes; "Do you want a hug?"
Fuuuuck no. For all I know God is going to strike you down for being such a nasty person! I don't want your nastiness rubbing up on me.
It was then that I decided this whole organized religion thing isn't for me. I can see why other people like it. Some people like getting up early once a week, dressing up in expensive clothes, driving to church, sitting around for an hour, and walking out feeling like they're a good person and closer to Heaven, while the rest of us are on the path straight to Hell.
...For some reason. Because we didn't get up early, I guess. Because even if they spit in the face of a hobo on the street, or cheat on their wife or beat their kids or steal from work or WHATEVER, they're still in the clear. Because they go to church once a week.
Yes, I know people who legitimately feel this way.
Yes, I hate it too.
No, I don't believe that's what being a Christian is all about.
Don't get me wrong, I do think there are redeeming qualities about churches. I think it's neat to be able to sit with people and talk about Jesus and read the Bible together and do good things for the community and help one another out. I do think it's really neat to meet other people in that group and support one another and lift one another up in prayer. I have no problems doing any of these things.
I just don't see it happen enough. When I did see people being "lifted in prayer" at the churches I went to, it wasn't for a real reason, you know? It was so the people doing the praying could feel smug and holier than the people they were lifting. When those people tried to "support" other's and keep them on the straight and narrow, it wasn't because they were worried about anyone else's immortal soul. It was so THEY could feel holier than someone else. It was so THEY could think they were a better Christian.
I'm just not into that.
I do believe there are good churches out there. I just don't believe any of them work for me. I don't think that's where God wants me to be.
I think I'm better off leading by example, maybe? I don't run around and go; "I DON'T DO BAD THINGS BECAUSE I'M A CHRISTIAN!!!" I'm not doing good things and going; "SEE?!?! SEE WHAT I DID THER?!?!? GOD WILL BLESS ME NOW!"
I try to be a good person and do good things because well, I should. Because I know that's what I need to do. And I WANT to be a good person. I LIKE being a good person. God will show me what needs to be done, I will do it quietly, and I will carry on with my life. It's between the two of us.
Nothing to do with the rest of the world.