"I believe, if god is who god claims to be, there isn’t going to be a judgement day--just a day of welcoming. A day where god holds each of us in god’s arms and cries with us--tears of joy, tears of sadness, and tears for the coming love story."
In the month or two since I posted about my (lack of) Christian faith I’ve received a lot of responses.
I’ve done ALL of this among people who love me, and that makes me smile. Because from the first day I posted on this subject until now, it’s all been about love. Isn’t that what faith is supposed to be all about?
These conversations have also led me to want to clarify some parts of my belief system that I sense weren't clear in Part 1:
The last thing I’ll mention is I’ve had a lot of friends say they acknowledge what is wrong with the Christian church, but still feel it’s important to be a part of it.
I think that’s fine. I don’t expect everyone to walk away from their faith. It was a painful, complex decision for me, and one I believe has to be extremely personal.
What I will say is this: if you can acknowledge what is wrong with the church, what will you do to change it? Those within the church know better than anyone what isn’t right, so do something about it. Have a big impact.
Because that’s what this world and the kingdom of god (may it exist) need most: people who are trying to having an impact. One day, one heart, one person at a time.
"I made a promise to myself that I would not consider enjoyment a sin. I take a pleasure in inquiring into things. I've never been content to pass a stone without looking under it. And it is a black disappointment to me that I can never see the far side of the moon."
Let me start by saying I hope someday when I am at death's door I will discover there is a god. I also hope I will find god to be far bigger, far more caring, and far more understanding then we often give god credit for in this world.
But I’m not a Christian anymore.
On some level I’m not sure I ever was. I went to church, Sunday school, and youth group at times, but my heart was never in it. I always sensed god and spirituality more in the outdoors--among mountains and beaches and green grass.
I can’t say the same about monuments built to our religion, sanctuaries where trauma and pain are covered over like a casket in the ground, and certainly not among broken theology.
As some of you know, in grad school I studied Christian theology as part of my counseling-psychology degree. I learned new words, theologies built on the hope of liberation, and an understanding of god that led me to question all I’d ever learned.
It changed me. In spite of what my Sitty wishes (she no doubt worries for my immortal soul) I am not, nor am I likely to ever be again, a Christian.
Here are a few of the reasons why:
The biggest change, however, came when I realized how much I love people. It happened during my time as an intern at Recovery Cafe in Seattle. I spent that year working with the most downtrodden--the addicts and murderers, abusers and abused, and those classified as “insane”.
I fell in love with those people. I came to feel at home among those our world seems to despise. I became, in my own way, one of them. That’s when I realized love was worth it just for the sake of love. Caring for others was good whether there is a god with some glorious holy land or not.
My grandfather used to tell me heaven was loving others. That it wasn't some far off place of perfection, but right here on earth among us. I thought he was crazy. I don't think so anymore.
It's not religion, not Christianity, and not a book we need. It's only love that will save us. For today and for always.