Posted by: CeCe | April 15, 2012

You’re not a true Christian!

Someone I know on Facebook sent me this link:
http://rachelheldevans.com/15-reasons-i-left-church

And I must say, I found myself nodding along saying, yes, that’s it.  But not all of those really apply to me.  For me, the kicker that really led to me leaving church permanently (at least so far) was not what many people might think.  Some people leave church because they grow tired of the hypocrisy.  That’s not the case for me, because I understand that everyone has their weaknesses, and the fact that some Christians are “weak” doesn’t bother me.  It doesn’t even bother me when they try to act more righteous than they are; I understand that they’re just trying to save face, and considering what a cultural phenomenon church really is for some people, I can’t blame them.  Of course they don’t want to admit that they’re smoking cigarettes, that they drink too much on Saturday nights, that they committed adultery, that they think the pastor’s wife is hot, that they doubt, etc. etc.  Doing so would lead to them becoming a pariah, or worse (at least in my opinion), face the smarmy condemnation that will inevitably ensue.  So no, hypocrisy doesn’t bother me.

In fact, people not living up to the name of Christ is not my biggest issue with Christians.  This doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop pushing, because I believe that all of us can be better Christians.  What it does mean is that I know very well that none of us live up to the name we call ourselves, and it’s not really possible to do so completely anyway.  I’ve often said that the only true Christian who ever lived was not only the Son of God, but a Jew, and that most of us are about as good at being Christians as a fifth-grade band class would be at playing Vivaldi.

So no, I did not leave the church due to hypocrisy or to people just not living up to the name of Christ.

Now the question remains, why did I choose to leave church?  Five words: “You’re not a true Christian!”  Those five words are usually followed by an implied “like me”, and one of many reasons why I can’t possibly be a Christian.  Let’s see, I’m not a true Christian because:
1)  I used to smoke cigarettes.  While I was still a smoker, it was the worst.  I constantly had (albeit well-meaning) Christians urge me to quit.  Some were kind about it, but some of the other things I was told about my smoking ranged from having a demon (!!), to not really being saved (because we all know that true Christians™ can’t possibly come to Christianity with bad habits), etc. etc.  Utter crap.  I was a smoker for 15 years.  I quit almost two years ago (yay!!).  I’ve only been a Christian for less than six years.  There were some bad habits that I dropped immediately after becoming a Christian, simply because I no longer found them appealing.  Cigarette smoking was not one of them.  And in fact, if cigarette prices hadn’t risen so much, making it impossible to continue smoking and keep money in our bank account at the same time, I would probably still smoke.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I quit and I don’t really miss it (though sometimes I do crave a cigarette), but it was the prices that were the kicker for me, not becoming a Christian.

2)  I’m not so sure homosexuality is a sin.  Or more specifically, I don’t think it’s up to me to judge.  I don’t understand why God would ignore a person who pleads with Him to be made straight if indeed homosexuality is a sin.  Because of this, I figure if it is a sin, I’ll let God deal with it.  If it’s not and I’ve poured so much energy into condemning someone for something over which they had no control, then I’ve sinned myself and am in risk of judgment.  This view has condemned me in the eyes of Christians more times than I can count.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to tell any Christians that this is how I feel, because often I find myself immediately outcast.

3)  I don’t interpret Genesis literally.  This would be a lot easier if I were a European Christian, because apparently, they haven’t interpreted Genesis literally for a long time, and it hasn’t been a problem.  In the U.S., however, it’s an issue.  I’ve been accused of compromising the word of God (and having a demon) because Genesis has always been interpreted literally by everyone… even though it hasn’t been.  No, seriously.  Genesis was interpreted allegorically as far back as the 3rd century CE, by Origen of Alexandria.  This view did not condemn him in the eyes of other Christians then, so why should it now?  I still believe God created… I just differ from some of my fellow Christians on how He did so, and how long it took.  But this, of course, means that I’m not really a Christian.

4)  I listen to metal and 5) I love Harry Potter/vampires/the macabre.  These things usually drive the nails in the coffin of my church-attending.  See, I don’t believe in hiding who I am and what kind of things interest me.  Why should I?  Friendship can’t be built on lies.  To be friends with me, one must accept what kind of person I am, my personality quirks, and the things about which I’m passionate, just as I accept others for their interests and quirks.  Why would I want to go to a place where I would only be able to be friends with people if I pretended to be something I’m not?  Further, with a lot of fundamentalist Christians, the very idea of metal/Harry Potter/vampires/the macabre send them into conniptions.  I say I listen to metal, and instead of seeing me as someone who just lent a new interpretation to a passage in the Bible (which is different, but not incompatible with traditional Christianity), they see me as someone who fully intends on sacrificing their children on the next full moon and consuming their flesh.   I say I like Harry Potter or vampires (like, Anne Rice and Bram Stoker vampires), and instead of seeing me as a woman wearing a peasant top and flare-leg jeans, they suddenly picture me with black lipstick, purple hair, and a pentagram necklace, whispering incantations in Latin over a cauldron.

Sigh.

The truth is, I’m much more content being a Christian when it’s just God and me.  It’s kind of sad, but I just can’t handle the condemnations and the judging and the gasps of horror for the silliest things.  Why are we so worried about stupid things like Christians who smoke cigarettes, when there are men calling themselves Christians who are also preying on children?  Why are we so worried about people outside the church who aren’t living up to our rules, when there are people within our ranks who aren’t even making an effort?  Why do we argue over biblical interpretation, when there are some among us who have no idea what the Bible even says?  Why are we so worried about wearing our Sunday best, when there are people whose “best” is rags?  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.  It’s absolute madness, and it depresses me, and it actually makes me want to leave the faith completely.  But then I remember that Christianity is not about Christians, it’s about Christ, and that’s where my focus should be.

Of course, maybe all the church people are right and I’m not a true Christian.  But I would hope that God would understand my idiosyncrasies, doubts and quirks, and the many issues I have with attending a traditional church.

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Responses

  1. Great post!! I enjoyed reading it, and appreciated your use of vocabulary. I had a couple thoughts as I got to the end that I just wanted to throw out there, if that’s ok.

    “But then I remember that Christianity is not about Christians, it’s about Christ, and that’s where my focus should be.” I agree that Christ should be our focus and the reason that we do the things we do, as Christians. But the Church/other Christians are actually really important to Christ, so I don’t think they should be dismissed by us, since we don’t get to choose which parts of Christ we like or not. Here’s what I mean: the Church is so important to Christ that marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship to His Church (Ephesians 5). The Church as a whole is Christ’s prize that is given away by God at the end of time, so it’s pretty important to Him, and should be to us. The New Testament is chock-full of commands and encouragements for believers to live in community with each other (Hebrews 10:24, Acts 2, Romans 12, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, etc). Suffice it to say, if Christians are “members of the body of Christ” then we need each other.

    I just wanted to encourage you to not discard the Church and fellowship with other believers. I know there are many Christians who definitely put the focus on the wrong things, and can sin against others in doing that. But that doesn’t discount how important Christ’s church is, impoerfect as it is, here on earth. Remember, He established it, it’s His thing 🙂

    I hope that was helpful and not unhelpful.

    Cheers

    • Of course it’s okay, I absolutely welcome comments!

      I do agree that fellowship with Christians is important, and I do try to get as much of that fellowship as I can. I have Christian friends, and we do discuss the Bible quite a lot. Plus I’m involved in religious debate (though not so much lately, I’ve been super busy with school and getting a business off the ground), and that often has me digging through the Bible, Christian writings, and church history.

      I suppose one could say that I still attend church, but not in the traditional sense. I like the services themselves most of the time, as long as the pastor knows what he’s talking about and isn’t trying too hard if ya know what I mean, but unfortunately being treated like I’m the worst sort of blasphemer for stupid things for most of my life has taken its toll. Maybe eventually I’ll find a church where I belong… or maybe such a church doesn’t exist. We’ll see.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    • Atcarmichael — you are awesome!

  2. I seriously think we’re quite possibly the same person… o.O

    • LOL!!!

  3. I think you’ve got the right idea: we can’t judge Jesus based on the way many of his followers behave.

    I have relatively recently found a nice church with people who aren’t worried about what you wear to church, whether you’re gay or straight, or what the color of your skin is. And it encourages questions and searching, and doesn’t claim that following certain dogmas is the only way to be a “good” Christian. It celebrates diversity and idiosyncracies. I was wondering if such a place existed! Like you, I’d rather stay home Sundays than compromise my principles and go to a church that I feel isn’t representing the moral and spiritual teachings of Jesus.

    At any rate, I do think you can develop spiritually without a church, but I am very thankful that I have the church home that I have. Just know that the kinds of Christians you are seeking really do exist, and we are gradually finding each other!

    • So sorry it took me so long to reply to you! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting, and I’m also glad you have found a church home. I hope someday I can too. I’m just thankful for the internet, because I’ve met so many people like me.

  4. I left church due to suffering a physical assault by the brain washers that were in charge of the camp that my parents sent me to as a child. My parents were just sure that I was going to grow up to be a missionary the way I acted when I was a child… but from the day I got back from that camp I told my parents I would never set foot in a church again. And when they tried to take me I would scream bloody murder. I was 8 or 9 years old when my parents gave up. They didn’t believe what I told them, not until I was in college and chance meeting with the son of a friend of theirs who was at the same camp I went to brought confirmation to everything I had said. I don’t think they wanted to but I was so amendment that they decided to just let me be. So I began spending countless hours at the public library (my place of solitude since I was old enough to carry a book… lets face it.. I was a little Matilda..). What did I research?… everything. LOL When I brought home my little red wagon loaded with EVERYTHING that I could find on paganism my parents figured that I was taking a slightly different path. I think they must have thought that it was a phase. Now at 30 something years old… its no phase. I will only enter churches for a wedding or a funeral and even then.. I don’t ‘act christian.’ I wont do lip service for a religion. Meaning I will be there for respect but I wont say prayers that I do not mean. That would be a lie and I am not a hypocrite! My family knows that I will not disrespect others for what they believe… and that I hope that they respect my choices… but that being said its been one of those ‘little family secrets’ my whole life. They used to tell me “what would your grandmother think?!” well… she knows… and she didn’t keel over when I told her. She told me simply that that’s what we USED to believe in the first place back in Ireland before the English. 😉 To be honest… every time I hear Christians preaching non-scene to justify their hatred and bigotry I just have to keep reminding myself… they are ignorant and brainwashed. They don’t have the ability to think for themselves because they have been taught to fear free thinkers. Its far easier to quote someone else than to come up with your own voice and to stand and defend it.
    I have no regrets about being a Pagan. But what I do have regrets about was my actions before I became one. I remember saying things to people that now I cringe with regret about… like when I made a little girl on the bus cry when I asked her why god made her black because Jesus was white and we are made in gods image so who made her… Now looking back on it… how HORRIBLE. I wish I could find her and apologize profusely for what I said. I was only repeating what I had been told in church.. but now… I understand how wrong it was. I suppose that the true shame shouldn’t be on me.. but rather the adult that told me that non-seance in the first place.
    Some Christians are ok, those who respect others beliefs, who are open minded and can accept that not everyone says and does things exactly the same way that they do… but to the ones who stand on street corners waving signs and especially to the one who tried to rob me of my innocence… its not god that’s whispering in YOUR ears. After all… Jesus walked with people of many backgrounds and saw them as equals. So how can you call yourself a christian… if you don’t follow in HIS footsteps?
    I may not be perfect, but at least I can live with myself… and everyone around me and somehow… I feel more at peace with myself now than when I felt that I had to convert the world.

    • Amy, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I know exactly what you mean with not finding satisfaction with the faith and with being so frustrated by the hypocrisy and the ways that people make excuses for their bad behavior. Your experience is also similar to mine in that I also experienced abuse at the hands of someone I should have been able to trust. I didn’t tell anyone until I was a teenager, and still hesitate to actually spill the whole story. I’m glad that you found a path that makes sense to you and brings you fulfillment. 🙂

  5. Hi CeCe 🙂
    First of all, I have to say that I like your way of thinking. I’m here for the first time, and I will definitelly follow your blog.

    Now, let me say something about your reasons for leaving christinity. Actually, I have one question: Why did you leave christianity? Maybe it sums strange to ask something like that, while you gave a lot of reasons. My point is that nothing that you mentioned is not a true reason to become a non-christian.

    1. You said you’re a smooker. So? I know a lot of good christians that are smookers too. Yes, it is a sin, but no one expects from you to be perfect. Neither God expects that. What he asks from us is to always try to be better, and not letting our nature and our pasions to control us.
    I’m a sinner too. If you shouldn’t be a christian because you smoke, then what can I say? Believe me, I have a lot of sins that can not compare with smoking. And I’m stil a christian, because I believe that Christ can help me to overcome my temptations.

    2. I think homosexuality is a sin, but, I agree with you that it’s not our business to judge others because of their sins. I Ieave that to God.
    You’re not sure that homoseuxuality is a sin? Ok, I do not judge you, and I accept you as my brother/sister in Christ. No one says that we have to agree about everything. Again, I think that this is not a good reason to leave your faith.

    3. Who says that you have to interpret Genesis literarly? As you notices, among holy fathers of the Church there are those who interpreted it alegorically, and not like literal 6 days of creation.
    I accept the theory of evolution and any other scientific theory, because I think that science and religion are not incompatible.
    One of modern saints in my Church(I belong to the Eastern Orthodoxy), st. Luke of Symferopol accepts evolution. Yes, there are creationist among orthodoxy, but more and more people realise that there is no reason to reject science.
    Also, on Faculty of Orthodox Theology at University of Belgrade, professor of Dogmatics, Ignatije Midic, teaches his students to accept evolution and modern scientific discoveries.
    The most important theologians in my Church, like Zizioulas and Yanaras, have the same opinion. I don’t know a lot about other Christian Churches around the world, but I think that many of them has nothing against science.

    So, honestly, I see no disagreement between science and religon.

    4. i 5. You’re my man. 🙂
    If you’re a christian, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop living normal and doing daily things(read books, listen music etc.). Actually, by doing that you show to others who are not christians that being a christian is not “weird” or “freaky”, and that you can be a normal man and a believer at the same time. I dont know what is your experience, but I know a lot of people who think that christianity is “boring” and it’s not compatible with the modern world. Therefore, the task of christians is to show that this is not true. I can not describe by words how I like Harry Potter. I think that I’ve read every book a couple of time. And I don’t think that I’ve done something bad.
    When it comes to music – the same. I’m not preoccupied with that kind of thoughts, and no one in my Church judges me due to the music what I prefer. Of course, there are fundamentalists who think that this is a sin, but I don’t care about their opinion.

    I’m hoping you won’t be bored, after reading my comment. xD

    • Hello, and thank you for your comment! I haven’t left Christianity; I’m still most definitely a Christian. I’m just not a church-going Christian. My problem is with church, not the faith in itself. I’m glad to find that you understand a lot of what I was saying, and that you’ve found a church that accepts you for you. I keep hoping that I’ll find mine eventually; I just haven’t yet.

      Thanks again! 🙂

      • Cece,
        You’d be welcome at my church anytime, sister! Come and sit by me!

      • Thanks! 🙂

  6. I totally agree. You have nothing to fear. Christianity = Love in Christ and Humanity (Even when it doesn’t deserve to be LOVED). Feel free to friend me on FB (www.facebook.com/will235brn)

    • Thank you very much William! 🙂

  7. I like your points. I feel most Christian when it is just me and God, as well. No buildings, No intermediaries, No literature, no judgements or conforming to customs and cultures. How I speak or dress. I don’t hate and God digs me just the way I am, warts and all. That is why I love God so very much. Thanks for your musings, CeCe.

    • My thoughts exactly. Thank YOU! 🙂

      • Agree, CeCe!

  8. I totally understand what you mean about not wanting to wear a mask in order to fit in. I had that experience briefly as a Christian counselor in a “Christian” agency whose members saw demons behind every rock and whose goal was to change me. Thankfully, I have always known acceptance at church. I think if you keep looking around, you will not only find a church you can tolerate, but one you can truly enjoy and be proud to be a member of. I know this is possible. May God richly bless you in your search!
    Susan

    • Thank you very much, Susan. I hope I can find a church home someday. 🙂

      • I hope and pray you can too. It has been one of the great gifts of my life!

  9. Kodous, to you, atcarmichael! You hit the nail on the head! For me what comes to mind is Christs own words ” I came for the sick (of soul) not for the healthy”! Community is where, if we are willing, we learn to grow to be more Christ like! As a matter of fact, Christ uses others to help us to do that. To grow to be more Christ like is a journey best accomplished in a community of believers who are at all different stages of growth and where Faith abounds, grace follows! We are not the ultimate judges of others, Christ is!

  10. black shadow, Like what you have to say . these are wonderfully open and honest posts!

  11. The Bible states take the plank out of your own eye first before taking the bema out of someone elses. If one choosesto continue on with their habit,let God tell them when to stop. The more we force something on to someone when we have some kind of sin in our own lives,we are only hypocrites.Don’t judge unless you too want to be judged.Love each other Pray for them and about them.Let God be God.We are not God. If we force someone to do something,give up something they will enter into rebelliousness.

  12. I read the above and feel really sad about what you say. I have read it and re-read it and I think the reason I am sad is because I realize that I agree with a lot of what you say. Christians are judgemental….I try not to be that way and I get judged People are people and none of us are perfect – including Christians. I hope you find a church where you are accepted – I am still looking for this myself. I find a lot of answers in the Bible.

    • Thank you, Marti! I’m sad that you were sad, but I think it’s good that we recognize this tendency that we have to be so judgmental, and start doing something to correct it. I think the more of us that are aware of it– and if the reactions here are any indication of it, there are quite a few!– the more likely we are to be able to fix it! Thanks again, I’m glad you stopped by!

  13. Hi there~
    I have one comment for you and that is to say, that if you think the church that YOU would want to be a member of, doesn’t exist. Start one! You be the Pastor….learn and grow from your members. Anyone can do it off the internet these days…you don’t even need a matchbook cover anymore~

  14. I appreciate your honesty and can relate. I still attend church regularly, but I also enjoy being a christian more when it is just me and God. When my father was alive, he read his Bible everyday and when he discovered that he had cancer, he told my mother, “We have been telling others to trust in Jesus all of these years; now, it is our turn. We must live what we have preached.” He hadn’t been to church in almost 15 years when he said this. Why? Because a few Christians had been unable to leave his past failures out of his present attendance at church (he did attend for a few years after getting sober). The past is forgiven by God. He couldn’t take the constant heckling so he quit going and found peace in doing so. At his memorial service, we all had the chance to share something about my father. He had a colorful past of drug abuse that lead to a divorce. He had smoked for about twenty years and spent the second half of his adult life as a recovering alcoholic. He had a crude sense of humor, a colorful vocabulary and one of his favorite stories was The Hobbit (a copy of it sat on his bed stand for as long as I can remember) while his Bible sat on the dish cupboard in the dining room where he would go to read the scriptures each morning. Two years before he moved from this life into the eternal life, he discovered he had Hep C from drug use almost 40 years earlier. But, he read his Bible every day, hung on the truths found there about forgiveness, grace, mercy. I shared this at his memorial–we called it a celebration of his life and we celebrated all of it, his failures right along side of his victories. That is what it means to be a true christian. He spent time with God everyday and loved others with whatever he could muster. I don’t go to church just because I am a christian. I go to church because I care about my christian family and friends who make attendance more important than it is to me. I enjoy stories about vampires, Harry Potter, and I have a few too many glasses of wine on occasion. My christian friends who know this, love me in spite of it. Christians who can’t see past these quirks? I can’t say that I spend any time nurturing friendships with them. What it all boils down to is that I know that there is one God and Jesus Christ is his son, and my Savior. One of my favorite verses is when Jesus says, “Who do you say that I am?” That is the most basic cry of God’s heart. All else that we bicker about matters little at the Gates of Heaven. Again, thank you for your honesty. I wish more people would think this way.

    • Erica, thank you so much for your amazing comment. I’m very touched by the story you shared of your father. He sounds like he was an amazing man. I’m so glad you chose to share him in this way. Brightest blessings to you!

  15. This is wonderful! I have felt the same way for so long and have suffered for it greatly living in The “Bible Belt” of the South. I consider my faith my responsibility and will deal with God when the time comes for me to do so, period. Thank you for sharing this, it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    • Thank YOU!

  16. Being a Christian means following and trying to be Christ like. That’s it in a nutshell. The Old Testament is a history of the Jews and gives us a good idea of what Jesus learned as he was growing up. He didn’t deny it but added to it in calling us to be disciples to love others, not just our family and neighbors. You mentioned many books of the new testament but left out Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. These are the books of Jesus’ life. If you want to read any of the Bible, focus on them first. Paul was a Roman jew who had an epiphany. Some of his ideas were just that, ideas. They certainly don’t work 2000 years later. They were for his time. Genesis was a story, note: story of how the Jews explained creation and how we got here. It wasn’t meant to be interpreted literally. It was never meant to be considered a science book.

    Jesus stressed “where two or more are gathered, there I am.” In other words, he knew the advantages of being able to share the work he required with others (feeding the sick, etc.). I hope you keep looking at churches as not all are like those who pass judgment on others and make ridiculous requirements like not smoking or reading Harry Potter or Anne Rice. I suspect if Jesus were alive, he would have enjoyed both authors though he would have patted you on the back for giving up something that could harm your health.

    You sound like a smart thinking, God searching young woman. No need to search for God. God is wherever you are. Sadly many today have plugs in their ears (literally) and can’t hear God talking to them over the noise of the world around them. I worry that the world may become so noisy that God won’t be heard at all, and what a tragedy that would be.

    You would certainly be welcomed at my church, a Presbyterian USA denomination. It’s full of sinners, all trying to understand where God is leading us and how best to serve Christ by serving the world around us. We may not always agree with one another but we do love one another as Christ loves us. We don’t preach sin and guilt. We try to set an example that others will want to emulate by emulating Christ. It’s hard work and we fail often but we don’t give up. Good luck in your search. And if anyone tells you that you “should or should not” and that they have the only real answers, turn around and run the other way as fast as you can!

    • Thank you very much for your amazing comment!

  17. Dear Ce Ce, I came to your blog via Anne Rice’s page after reading a post a friend put about Anne Rice on the I am Second Website. I was curious of where she stood today, and then saw she posted the link to your blog. After reading your blog I believe God lead me to it. I can honestly say that It has been a very long time since I have felt out of place in “church”, but from my experience of meeting people over the years, I find it more common that there are more and more people being turned off by the church. I recently heard about this church who is teaching such hatred by picketing funerals of fallen soldiers and the “leader” of this church tweeted Praising God for the deaths of some people in a town in Oklahoma where a Tornado hit. Because their church had been there preaching about them turning back to the Lord, and because they didn’t listen God killed what she called “Rebels”. I was literally shocked and saddened at reading this. How can someone who was calling themselves a “Christian” be teaching such hatred! I actually posted on Facebook that this was why so many people are being turned off by the “Church” and “Christians”. The unfortunate thing is there are people out there like this Church and even the ones you have experienced it from. It’s sad that you are suffering the loss of being a part of a Church “Family” because people are judgemental and non accepting. The good news is “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”!,but the scripture continues to say “to those who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” Even if you’re a “Christian”, you are going to struggle with things of the flesh. Smoking, etc.. whatever your struggle is, it doesn’t make you less of a “Christian” it just means God is working on you. We are all a work in progress. I think a huge misconception of most people is that “Christians” are supposed to be perfect and sinless! Just because we are “Christians” doesn’t make us less Human. We are human, we make mistakes, we fall, we sin, we aren’t perfect. But, Christ in us is perfect, and perfecting us! It make take one person a day to overcome a sin, where it may take another 10 yrs. We as “Christians” are all in different places in our walks, and we should be encouraging and uplifting and not condemning and judging. Unfortunately not all “Christians” are! I do agree with a few others that you do need to be in a church, there is just something about having that fellowship that we need and God obviously thinks it was important. Our family moved out of state and we left a church that I was a part of for 13 yrs. For the first 2 yrs. we lived in Oklahoma, we weren’t connected to a Church body, and it really effected every part of us. I literally felt lost! I still was a “Christian”, but I just needed that fellowship. We went to church, but it just isn’t the same as being a part of the body! Every part is different, you may be a foot, and another an ear, we all are very important! We have been going to the church we go to now since last July, and the first day I walked in the doors, I was literally hit by the Holy Spirit. I cried while putting my daughter in Sunday School class, during worship, and even afterwards while meeting people. I was so emotional and I literally could not control it, the way I’ve described it to people is, I felt like I was home. My physical body was reacting to the spiritual need my body needed. We are spiritual beings and we need that connection that the “Church” gives us. I would encourage you to keep looking for the right church, God knows your needs, and there is a Church Family that is going to Love you for who you are, and not judge or condemn you, for being you! I keep putting “Christian” in quotation marks because there are so many people who call themselves that, but truly are not. Someone recently told me that they don’t like to call them self a “Christian”, but a Jesus Follower. I have to agree that sounds better! There is too much religion revolved around the word “Christian”, but being a Jesus Follower is a proclamation of having a personal relationship with him. I would encourage you to continue to be a Jesus Follower, and he will meet your needs, all of them! I’ll be praying for God to bring you a “Church” or what I like to call a “Family” for you to be a part of. Thanks for sharing! Blessings and Peace!

    • Thank you Tonya, I hope you’re right and eventually I’ll be able to find a church in which I can feel welcome! I’m glad you stopped by and commented!

  18. I have only read the first response to your post by atcarmichael, so I do not know if what I have to say has been addressed or not by others. So if I am repeating what others said, I apologize.

    While I do disagree with you on Genesis, (yeah that’s how creation happened), and I do definitely believe that homosexuality is a sin, (just like adultery and fornication are sexual sins), that does not automatically make me doubt your Christianity. The logs in my eye are way to large for me to worry about the mote in your eye. Christians are just like everybody else, we are sinners, (though many do tend to forget that), and the only difference between us and the non-Christian is that we are saved.

    As atcarmichael, said we are encouraged to fellowship with other Christians. By doing so we can together Praise God and Glorify His Son, we can together help each other to learn more about His Word, to get another point of view other than ours, and share our own point of view.

    Many of those who look down upon others because of their “unChristian-like” conduct, like say smoking, I would guess believe that works somehow enter into salvation. They need to be reminded it is the opposite, Salvation can only be accepted as a Gift of grace from God via the Sacrifice of His Son. That being said and meant, one must ask themselves, “Do I lead a Christian Life?”. For there must be a change for we are changed. I am not saying that because you like to read/watch HP or Vampire stories you are not a Christian, again, I am not going to be judging you, I am to busy dealing with my issues, but it is a question we all must ask ourselves. Are you or I a vine that bears fruit? While Christians have many freedoms due to the salvation through Christ, no dietary laws, for example, we should not abuse those freedoms. That can lead to sinful acts, which we need to confess. There is a difference between sinning and living a sinful life is that when a Christian sins you know you are doing wrong and regret it, living a sinful life is when your sin does not bother you.

    I wish you well, May God’s Hand be upon you and yours.

    Arthur

  19. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  20. CeCe. I know exactly what you are saying. I too enjoy my christianity between God and me on my terms with my own skew of spirituality and thoughts. I will never step foot in another church to be among all the hypocrits. There are many reasons why I have a hard time congregating with others in a church..two of them being 1) most of the people I have encountered truly believe each and every word being told to them verbatim and taking it as ‘gospel” if you may, without rethinking or examining the facts and will not enjoy a conversation with one who does (like me) and 2} The last time I was in a church on a regular basis, I was told I was not a Christian because I did not “tythe” enough money to the church. This really ticked me off.. how dare they get off telling me I have to give so much to the church monetarily to be a Christian. This came at a time I was extremely poor and did not have even enough money to buy enough food to feed the family, nor did I have a job. I was down on my luck, but had to give the few cents I had in my pocket to the church to remain a member. “Total Bullsh**” So… excuse me if I sound cynical. I too have my own version of the bible not just Genesis. One must remember that it is a book of verses and writings by people many many years ago, and written many many years after the fact. Think of the game “telephone” we played as kids. Where you whisper into the ear of a person next to you a statement, who then whispers it to the next person and so on, until it reaches the last person. The statement might begin “I like to wear pink clogs” and end up being “I eat slimy green frogs”. This too is how I envision the verses and writings to end up being in the bible. They cannot be taken as true fact statements..but rather many lingering versions of a story being told over and over down the line, until someone wrote it down with their own ‘telephone” version of they story.. Also take into account that whoever wrote it had a different language than the person who eventually re-wrote it into English or German or Italian..so one word can have very different meanings depending on the language and who re-interprets the writings. There are a lot of things that I simply cannot believe..a couple of them are: 1} People did not live to be 1000 years old. 2} There was not a great flood that Noah had to endure with his family and animals two by two. My thought is 1} the word “years” may have meant a different thing back in the day…we may call 365 days a year, but what did these people call a “year” back then..was it only 30 days so the person could really have only been “1000 months old” ? I mean think about it…. 2} Sure there might have been a flood that Noah had to endure locally in his land, but it could not nor did it flood the entire earth, And exactly where did he get the 2 roaches, 2 spiders, 2 snakes, 2 ticks, 2 whatever back then so they would live forever? I have read the bible cover to cover several times, ensued conversations with theologians about it, memorized verses, got gold stars in Sunday School and sang ” we will be fisher’s of men” many a time..but still will believe what I want to believe without someone at a church spewing their version upon me, ostrasizing me, or condemning me because of my thoughts and beliefs..or forcing me to give them money I don’t have so they can.

  21. […] You’re not a true Christian! (aseekersmusings.wordpress.com) […]


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