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Friday, July 25, 2008
I haven't gone to church in 6 years
Aside from the occasional wedding and funeral and christening, of course. If you know me or if you've read this blog for a while, you'd know I have this huge faith in God. I'm a Born-Again Christian, grew up in a Baptist church, and I completely believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior and that my life is meaningless without Him.
So why did I stop attending church? Oh, there are tons of reasons. Here's a good list I found from The Accidental Missionary:
10. I was only going to church to please others.
9 I want to spend more time with my friends.
8. I disagreed with the church’s stance on political or social issues.
7. I didn’t feel connected with the people in my church.
6. I became too busy.
5. I moved too far away.
4. My work responsibilities prevented me from attending.
3. I started college and stopped church.
2. Church members seemed too judgmental or hypocritical.
1. I simply wanted a break from church.
And then the blog's author surmises, "Why do they want a break? I think maybe #2 causes #1."
And that's why I ultimately left. Left the family I loved, the friends I grew up with, the church that formed my beliefs and my morals. Well, I didn't become un-Christian, mind you, I just left the church physically because it just got too confusing for me. It's like what Gandhi supposedly said, "I would become a Christian if it were not for Christians." I felt back then that I was surrounded by judgmental hypocrites and I wanted to scream my head off because I was so lost in a place where I should feel found.
So I wandered off. Shopped around for different churches and checked out a few "life-changing" seminars. Studied a bit of Buddhism and even found that very attractive. Except that I just couldn't shake off my one true love: Jesus Christ. I fell in love with Christ before and I asked Him into my heart and there is no way I'm asking Him to ever leave. Never!
Anyway, now that I've had time away and apart to live how I want, explore the world I was protected from, meet many kinds of people I never would've known had I stayed in my cloistered existence... well, I can't say I regret these past 6 years. Nope, not at all. I loved every minute of it! I've had tons of fun. I've grown a deeper understanding of myself, my fellow men, and of God.
And I guess I understand now that what I thought was judgmental and hypocritical behavior before was perhaps also growing pains, the same thing I had to go through. I guess if there's anything I love about getting older, it's getting more compassionate and understanding. Wisdom only comes with age. So yes, I will welcome the years.
Ah, but it's been 6 years, my friends. And I'm starving.
*song is I'm Going Home by Chris Daughtry; video features clips from Spirit, created by horselover1166