Christianity And A Conscience: It's Complicated.

God and I have a complicated relationship. I've always had a lot of questions, and have never really been settled on my beliefs, but I never doubted His existence. And then I turned 30...and shit got real.

This year has brought about an absolutely ridiculous amount of doubts, realizations, and declarations about who I have been, who I am, and who I want to be. And for the first time in my whole life, I truly doubted not just my faith, but the existence of God.

I grew up in a Christian home. We went to church every Sunday. We went to Sunday school. We went to Awanas. My parents did a ton of volunteer work. I attended a Catholic school, so I learned about different religions from a young age.

And I quickly got into a habit of telling my Catholic friends that they were doing things all wrong.

They were wrong for telling a priest their sins. They were wrong for praying to the saints. They were wrong for focusing on the crucifixion instead of the resurrection. They were wrong for making sins go away through rosary prayers. Wrong.

A good friend of mine growing up was Jewish. I learned all about Hanukkah and his beliefs. Again, I told him he was wrong. You can't just NOT believe in Jesus, He's kind of the whole point.

They were all wrong because it wasn't what I knew to be true.

What an asshole.

I came and left "religion" a lot in between my teens and twenties, which is fairly normal. Church can't override sleeping in after a night out with friends. Last year I started taking my faith seriously and was even baptized.

And then I realized how much of it is bullshit.

Straight up bullshit.

So many Christians sit there and will tell you the moral absolutes of this world, all the while claiming their own sins as "mistakes."

I'll never forget a VERY Christian girl I know telling me how she and her fiance "slipped up" six times before their wedding night and had sex. But it was a mistake and they prayed together and God forgave them.

I call bullshit. One time is a mistake. After that, it's a god damn choice.

That's the problem with a lot of Christians, though. It's okay to point fingers, but their "sins" are always justifiable.

I'm not interested.

I always felt bad at church. Slightly because I was sexting during service, but also because I just couldn't stomach a lot of what I saw.

You can get drunk on a Saturday, as long as you're with other Christians. You can work at the mecca of all churches, as long as you look the part and fit into their culture. You can tell gays they're going to hell, but you gotta love them through it.

What. The. Fuck.

I wondered, would I have chosen creationism over evolution if it hadn't been ingrained in me from birth? Would I have chosen Christianity over Buddhism or Judaism? Would I have chosen to be a believer?

Would I have chosen God?

No one forced me to walk away from the church, and subsequently from my faith. Not the actions of my "Christian" friends. Not my predisposition to a hedonistic lifestyle. Not my being so mad at God for my life falling apart. Not even my wondering why God, if He does exist and made the world, chose to make things like mosquitoes and malaria.

I walked away because I found out that I feel the truth and presence of "Him" more among the "sinners" than I ever have among those acting like they're "saints".

It hasn't been easy. Fighting my way through the worst year of my life without faith to fall back...it's been hard. A few years ago I would've just said, "God's trying to teach me something", no questions asked. But I can't say with certainty that that's true.

But I also can't say it's not true.

Sometimes I'm scared that my broken faith will send me to hell. Sometimes I don't believe in heaven and hell at all. Sometimes I believe God's too disappointed to accept me back. Sometimes I believe that God doesn't exist.

It's complicated.

I could quote scripture after scripture to people. I've read the Bible. But that doesn't make me a better person. I could stop saying fuck and cunt. But that doesn't make me a better person.

I could point out your "sins", but that won't erase mine.

I refuse to find the black and white in a world that was made to have color.

Instead I will help where I can, give more than I can, cuss when I feel like it, and find my faith through loving others.

Because regardless of what you or I choose to believe...regardless of the existence of God or no God...it all comes down to love.

I choose love.

Christianity is complicated. Having a conscience is complicated. Loving people isn't.

So choose love.

Cheers! CasC
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