Below is an entry from my journal. I hope it brings encouragement and provokes thought in you as you are going on your way!
I’ve finally reached a space where I truly believe “Church” has nothing to offer me.
I do believe it is one of those situations where it’s “throw the baby out with the bath water.” I think what keeps people so tethered is fear. Some fear because they are uncertain of another way to secure their relationship with God. Some fear because their identity is contingent upon being validated within that system.
To throw it all out would raise the question: what do we do now? That’s the same question I had when I left the church almost two years ago. What now?
There’s a quieting that took place during that time. I resisted the urge to “know.” I resisted the urge to “know the future.” I resisted the urge to quickly join another church. I resisted the urge to distrust myself because I didn’t have the backing of Christians or Christian leadership. I didn’t give in and I’m so glad I didn’t.
Sometimes, I wish I could say the moment I stepped away from Christianity everything was solidified. But, that’s not what happened. I was angry and still am sometimes. It has often been lonely. I’ve experienced soft rejection from Christians whose faith couldn’t take them where I was at. I’ve been sad and scared. But, I never stopped moving forward.
I’ve learned more in the almost two years leaving the “safety” of religion than I have my entire time there. People don’t often understand why I’ve criticized the church SO MUCH. I think it’s easier to assume it’s church hurt. When that friend that only comes for Easter and Christmas criticizes the church, we think it’s “church hurt,” rebellion, or a lack of commitment on their part. It can be easy to dismiss it from those people. I can imagine what it must be like to hear criticism from a friend who was incredibly and heavily involved in church. I went SO HARD for this stuff man; hence the reason my frustration when realizing this all didn’t do me any good.
My criticism of the church probably sounds vague to most. I think I gave a better explanation of it in a recent blog, “The Church: We Got It All Wrong.” But, I can sum it up like this: the issue with the church is the underlying foundation upon which it’s built and the unwillingness/fear of people to challenge/examine that foundation.
Many hide behind popular verses and church jargon to avoid going through the process of wrestling with what they believe.
Additionally, unfortunately, most Christians do not have the tools to properly challenge the system anyway. So, while they’re in it, they’ll always find a way to stay connected in a way that can be blinding. Plus, the doctrines in place make it difficult to consider much fallibility.
At this point, I believe the so-called church needs to be done away with. People need to go back home and allow the healing process to begin to take place.
It amazes me that my family never experienced true healing while involved in the church system. But now that we’ve all stepped away, it’s given us the space to see ourselves and to develop the perspective YAH has about us.
That’s where I’m at. I’m seeing more clearly. But, getting here is requiring me to be vulnerable about how I do not see clearly and the source of this. So, I’m grateful to YAH for showing me the complete picture and showing me who I am and have always been.