The Life of Lucianna
A Blogger who shares stories and spreads love ...
Why I Stopped Going To Church
Let me start out by saying that this blog post is NOT meant to BASH anyone or make fun of any organizations.
I have thought long and hard about writing this post. Many have questioned my spiritual beliefs and some have been shocked by my shift from Christianity.
I also want to say that I am so grateful for those who are Christians and have loved me and shown me grace throughout my journey.
This post is going to disappoint a lot of you. This is NOT MY INTENTION.
Some of you will actually congratulate me for being true to myself and following my intuition. Others, have remarked on how brave I am for being open and authentic. Thank you.
Also, this post is how I FEEL ... I am not asking for your opinion; although I am open to hear it.
Becoming a Christian
Okay, so some of you know me from church life. I became a Christian when I was 14 years old. This was on my own accord.
I will talk about becoming a Christian in another post (stay updated). In the meantime, nobody forced me into Christianity. It was a part of my life journey.
I am so grateful for this sacred time of my life because it was exactly what I needed.
Christianity kept me safe from a lot of heartache, STDS (HA HA HA), unnecessary drama, etc.
When I was a Christian my focus was on Jesus Christ. This meant living a pure and holy (as much I could) lifestyle.
I can honestly say that if I wasn't a Christian in my teenage years (up into my twenties), I would have gotten into so much more trouble than I would have if I wasn't.
It definitely kept me on the "straight and narrow".
I would not leave my bed in the morning, until I had read the "Word of God" - which was the "Sword of Truth".
I used to believe that the Bible was the "ONLY true word of God" -- the inerrant and infallible word of God and anything else, was not "of God"; therefore it was of Satan (God's nemesis).
My dreams would consist of me fighting demons in the "Name of Jesus Christ". There was a demon to every vice. If I was lusting over some guy, it was because "a demon of lust" was influencing me.
If I was afraid, it was because "a demon of fear" was lurking around. You get the point.
Leaving the Church
After my separation from the father of my children, I began a new cycle of life. I call it the "restoration and realignment cycle".
I am truly grateful for all relationships in my life. Especially the ones that are the most challenging because, that is where I get to face my true self and begin true healing.
Difficult relationships are meant to bring out the parts of us that were traumatized in this life or past lives (ancestral trauma). All is meant for healing and realignment; I truly believe this -- even though at the time, I didn't see it.
We all play a part ... either through being the one that illuminates and uncovers the pain, or the one that brings healing to the wounds.
Back to the story. I met this wonderful man a few months after my separation. To this day, I believe he -- like my ex-husband, is a soulmate of mine.
This man helped me to rediscover myself in so many different ways. He was gentle, tender and kind. He provided and held a space for me, that amidst all the chaos I was going through, brought peace and calm into my life.
I was still going to church at the time. The church was my safe place -- or so I thought ... I wanted to belong but never really ended up belonging, even though I met some beautiful people at the church I was attending at that time.
My Christian convictions at the time, were so strong that I tried evangelizing this new lover of mine by desperately trying to convince him to go to church with me.
At the same time, I was seeking help from that church and other Christian friends of mine. I was struggling financially. Barely making $400 a month.
About two or three Christian couples and Christian friends that I had been friends with for many years were my true heroes. They stood by me and supported me emotionally and financially.
I want to stress how WITHOUT these few Christian individuals in my life, I would have been completely lost.
The rest of the Church -- about 85% of all my "Christian" friends and acquaintances were silent or had turned their backs.
I must admit, as I started walking away from the church I became more "liberal" and so understandably, some of my lifestyle was too "impure" for some to continue being friends with me ... lest I caused them to stumble.
The church I was going to helped me out a little bit -- they even tried to help me save my van from going into repossession, but alas the $300 that they gave me was not enough to cover the complete cost of $3000 to get my van back.
They even paired me up with a generous lady who was gracious enough to welcome me into her home with my three children and live with her for a few months.
I won't go into how I felt restricted or judged while I lived there because this beautiful soul and I didn't always agree on how to live a Christian lifestyle.
Instead, I will express my gratitude for this time and how my needs were met.
I bring this up not because I'm angry, but because I want to make a point about something.
With the roughly $400 I was making a month and any child support money that came in, I made sure to tithe -- basically give 10% of my income to the church.
My boyfriend (my soulmate that I mentioned a little while ago) who was also supporting me at the time, made a few comments about how many people like me out there, who are avid church goers -- devoted to the church, tithing and giving their time while pastors and higher-up members of the church are living lavish lives (most living off the church tithes).
I don't know how some pastors become so wealthy. Maybe they have some kind of inheritance or maybe they had savings from jobs prior to their current service as a pastor, but most were driving the best cars, going on the best vacations and pretty much living it up. This doesn't apply to every pastor out there.
This was one thing that started bothering me.
It just didn't equate in my mind. Jesus Christ lived a humble life; from what I learned by studying the Bible. He talked about taking the shirt off your back if you saw someone who needed it.
From all the money that I had put into the church -- money that I definitely needed for my kids and I to survive, keep a roof over my head -- to all the other money that goes into the church; there must be a way for the single mothers, the homeless etc to have their basic needs met (housing, clothing, food, transportation etc).
Not just "if someone needs shoes" give them shoe laces or tell them you're praying for them to get themselves together.
My understanding of the Bible and Christianity, was that we are supposed to walk along these individuals, support them "ALL THE WAY TO REHABILITATION" and provide for their basic needs with what has been gathered in the "pot" (tithes).
This applies to helping those who you don't agree with -- for example, "you don't support their divorce".
I'm not talking about free handouts either. I was doing my part. One example of an amazing Christian friend of mine: she offered to teach me some of the tricks of the trade she was in and helped me to become a legal assistant.
This job led to many other jobs and skills I learned as a new single mother.
Another Christian couple that I've been friends with for many years paid for my rent a few times. Yes! ... not many people do this. Other Christian friends watched my kids for me when I was sick or unable to ... numerous times. Another Christian couple helped me with bills that were due or would give me a check here and there for food etc.
I don't want to leave these pivotal people out. I will always have a deep reverence and gratitude for them.
They were the minority though. So that song "... and they'll know we are Christians by our love ..." started to sound more like "fantasy" to me. To me, my Christian friends who were helping me were just as generous as my "heathen" or non-Christian friends who there for me.
Another thing that began to bother me was also a point that my boyfriend at the time brought up.
This one was the main eyeopener.
He asked me this question: if God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, and gives us "FREE WILL" -- why would He ever create a being that would one day turn against him (knowingly) and lead many to destruction?
The being referred to was Satan.
Did Satan have a choice in being created?
Yes, Satan had a choice (supposedly), but wasn't his script written out for him already?
Satan would one day play the role of the villain. In most stories, there's always a hero and a villain.
Other Christians would say, "yes, Satan had a choice but he chose to turn away from God!"
How could he have had a choice when he NEVER asked to play that role?
How cruel is it to assign a role of villain-hood to one, so that my plan for redemption (enter Jesus Christ -- the sacrificial Lamb of God) would one day come to "Save the day"?
Sounded a bit like a narcissistic God to me.
I thought about this for a while. I thought of my children. If I had the foresight that my child would one day be a mass murderer and I had a say in their creation, I would not bring them into existence.
No, I'm not talking about abortion. We are in a far more sophisticated conversation. Please just think.
It would cruel of me knowing that bringing my child into the world, would bring so much pain and sorrow to only conclude in the ultimate destruction of this child and all the others destroyed by his or her doing.
In the New Testament, God is depicted through Jesus Christ - the embodiment of goodness, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness, joy, peace and ultimately LOVE (Galatians 5:22-23).
First Corinthians 13 describes God as LOVE: "...Love is patient, Love is Kind ..." and then when you read the Old Testament, God is depicted as a "jealous God", supposedly slow to anger ... yet, He commanded the Israelites in First Samuel 15:3-4 to annihilate their enemies, not leaving even the babies.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
By the way, the Old Testament is filled with orders from God, to carry out violent attacks on anyone who didn't follow His commands.
Then suddenly through Jesus Christ, He changes his mind? Did He not think this out before?
I just could NOT put these two contrasting portrayals of God together. Believe whatever you want, but LOVE cannot be so filled with rage and anger. At least, not my understanding of it.
Needless to say I started to see the errancy of the Bible, when from the age of fourteen to 37, I had made every excuse as to why God had to prove a point.
Why would God have to prove anything if He is ALMIGHTY?
Love doesn't ask for ANYTHING back. That's my understanding. It doesn't ask for a reciprocal devotion or pay back. It just gives.
I know I've gone on and on when this was supposed to be a shorter blog post. I just wanted to give you an idea of what went through my mind when I made my shift.
The questions above began opening so many other unanswered questions that I totally overlooked and tucked away while I was a passionate evangelist. I'm not going to go into them now.
To sum up why I stopped being a Christian:
Number three is where I am currently. It is funny that mostly everything we know is from our perception of someone's experiences or accounts of something, or from learning it because that's "the way it is".
There is a FEAR (the opposite of LOVE -- I was reminded of this by a friend in a recent conversation), that if people were left to make up their own minds and choices (and not subtly fed or forcibly fed) there would be CHAOS.
In comes the word: CONTROL.
What is control? Ah! Good question. Somewhere in there, I smell "FEAR". If we lose control ... then there will be chaos. So, we must bring things into order -- so that everything works smoothly.
This brings up the point "manipulation".
The last question I will ask and leave you with is: Where is the LOVE?
Welcome to my personal blog. This blog is going to be filled with everything magickal. Even the grimy stuff of life.
Check out the song I wrote below: