It has been a while since I have written anything that has to do with my spirituality or my religiousness. Lately it seems that my faith in God has become a private matter for myself. There is so much diversity around me on the subject that I find it best most of the time to keep it to myself.
I live in a very conservative Christian environment. I, however, am not. I come into odds with them over my differences in beliefs a lot. See, I have separated faith from religion. I believe the two have everything in common, yet on the basic level, not so much. For me, faith is a journey with God. Religion is just a platform of doctrine to bring one closer to God. Like I said, I believe they go hand-and-hand together but at the end of the day and setting all that doctrine aside, God presence is there regardless. So, as I struggle with trust issues with religion, I still hold a strong faith in God. Maybe this sounds weird but this is what I feel and believe.
With that said, I am still moving forward with joining the United Methodist Church. I have so much respect for this church that I find it to be a safe place for me. Yes, my conference of the UMC is pretty conservative but I am not going to let that scare me. Interesting enough, I look past that. I see a church that is big on humanitarian missions and a strong belief in social justice.
I guess the question I must ask myself is why return to Christianity?
Many years ago I took a very fanatical approach to religion. For so long after leaving this fanaticism, I could not come up with an answer to why I went down this route. I was only with a fanatical group of Christians for a couple of years. Within that time I was very sick with anxiety attacks. I truly believed that there doctrine was the only way a person can have a relationship with God. Well, their doctrine was wrong and very hurtful to others out side of it. Sad part, there was so many good people in its ranks, misguided and clueless. I also noticed some other things going on that I didn’t like nor understand, which ended up being the deciding blow that gave me the willpower to leave. I was so scared and faced an insurmountable pain from the dissociation. In the end it was all worth it, I am so glad and proud of myself for leaving.
Judaism came into play after all the mess. I have to admit, if I would have happened to be single person at the time, I would be a Jew now and very proud one at that. Sadly, and to make a long story short, it just wasn’t meant to be. If I ever become single for whatever reason, there is no doubt that I would give consideration in pursuing conversion again. This is about all I want to say on that.
Returning to Christianity, it was a hard choice. I mostly did it for my family. I still struggle with the understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. I guess that is the whole point of my journey with God. It seems that the struggle seems to bring me closer to God. I would prefer not struggling but I guess there is not much fun in that or enlightenment.
I still have a long way to go but I am getting somewhere with the doctrine. Yes, the doctrine. For me, the doctrine of the church scares me to no end. I have worked diligently for change in my thinking on what liturgy and Holy Scripture means to me. My past thinking on this important stuff is very uncomfortable for me. I just can’t handle thinking that way anymore. Heck, I don’t even really want to try.
Anyway, this is basically what is happening on my religious front. Always subject to change because that is just how I am. Religiously Challenged.
I think I will write about my faith struggles soon. There has been a lot thrown at me the last three years. I guess there is always something happening.
Thanks for reading!