I’ve been a professing Christian for as long as I can remember. I sang songs about Jesus in church, said “the prayer” for Salvation who knows when, and pretty much did what I want thereafter. I slept around, I cursed, I drank to the point of vomiting on entirely too many occasions, and lived a life that was, for the most part, showing everything I claimed to believe about Chris was just hypocrisy.
I was a liar.
Let’s not pretend that getting married suddenly made my halo a little less crooked. I just became a hypocrite who tried harder not to be. My interactions with men were not honoring to my husband, my language was vulgar and I became frighteningly aware that I had an anger problem. After a year of recovery in a church-based 12 Step program I put some safeguards in place and confessed horrible truths about myself.
The process of discovering what it means to “be a Christian” has become more relevant as I see more and more what it means to not be. Creflo Dollar for example convincing people that he needs an exuberant amount of cash flow to spread the Gospel infuriates me. Don’t get me started on Westboro or Joel Osteen. For the love, y’all, no WONDER so many are turned off to the Gospel. Had God not opened my eyes sooner assure you the last thing I’d want to do is be part of a religion that says my pastor needs enough money to fund several small countries just to fly some ridiculous jet or screams profanities at the LGBTQ population. So much hate and greed is being spewed from the pulpit ( or streets) that, frankly, sometimes I can’t blame non-believers for turning away from the crazy false doctrines they hear. My heart breaks for the fact that so many of us who try diligently to be a light in this world are being overshadowed by the crazy and the chaos that doesn’t come close to anything that can be defined as Biblical.
We need to get one thing straight: the prosperity gospel is not the Gospel. This is. God’s ultimate desire is not for you to live a life of material luxury. Prosperity comes in abiding with Christ, not with Christian Louboutin. Christianity isn’t behind this bill. It’s like somehow all Christians hate gay people unless they’re your family then they’re the exception. Or maybe not. Maybe you just hate everyone that isn’t a white family who makes more than $200,000 annually. As if someone who’s had an affair has committed an unforgivable sin and isn’t worthy of love or compassion. The lie that giving $100 to some church somehow forces God to give us $1,000 later on diminishes the Creator of the Universe to some genie. We’re so high and mighty to preach on all these sins but when it comes to divorce we’re aloof and think that particular part of the Bible doesn’t apply to us. It’s hard to promote what constitutes marriage when all the time Christians are getting divorced and trying to convince everyone around them that their marriage was the exception and no one should judge them. The twisted thought that if I’d just prayed harder for my grandmother to be cured of cancer would have taken it away makes me livid. What kind of crap is this?!
Church, no wonder there’s so much scrutiny of us. No. Wonder. This is not the teachings of Christ. I can agree that some of the Bible is offensive-it forces us out of our hedonism and into a standard of living and treating others that’s often against our own desires. I get the thought process of doing what you want as long as it’s not hurting someone. I struggle with that a bit myself. But I have to trust (and it’s not a blind trust, mind you) that the God I profess to believe in knows better for me than I do and therefore I’ll refrain from the second or third glance at the guy running without his shirt on and do my darnedest to not believe the lie that buying more stuff will finally make me happy. That if I just drink one more glass of wine my anger toward my situation will dissipate.
We have to be better than this. We have to call out false teachings. We have to admonish one another when we judge ever so harshly those around us. I’m not saying encourage harmful behavior but, for the love, could there be some seasoning of Grace? Can we stop with our Holier than Thou already? Stop with doing things claiming them to be loving when really it’s just a distortion of Truth and just carries out our own prejudices and fears? Stop giving those around us another chip to use to say Christians are unloving and judgmental people? I’m so over it.