I’m ok…but really I’m not.
On the outside I seem fine, but the truth is I’m so very exhausted of it all. Religion. I’ve been “enlightened”. I’ve been exposed to reality. I’m deconstructing. But I still go to my Episcopal parish because I love them and they love me. They truly LOVE me. They have proven it time and time again. And not in that “only if you do what we” say kinda a love either. But I wonder if anyone notices I don’t pray (out loud) any more. I don’t join the prayer group at the altar after the service. I don’t repeat the Nicene creed. I don’t testify. Perhaps they don’t because people see what they want to see. I still sing in the choir as a soloist. I still lead praise and worship because I’m the only one who does “so well to usher in the Spirit”. But when I finished reading Aslan’s “Zealot”, I was ready to burn every bible in my house. I was aghast and relieved at the same time. All my years of thinking something was not quite right about this book and having a secret hatred for Paul of Tarsus finally became justified. I was ready to go to the highest mountain and scream “IT’S ALL FAKE”. Then my brother talked me off the ledge and reminded me that healthy community is important. (He is partially deconstructed after having gone to seminary.) My husband also encourages me not to give up the music I love so much (He calls himself spiritual, but not religious after going from Baptist to Muslim to non-defined). I’m grateful for the both of them.
I no longer want to believe in Jesus as the son of God. Not even for a second. I still follow his general teachings of LOVE for that is the force most powerful and that is what I have always been attracted to. But I reject this maniacal schizophrenic God who resembles human beings too much for my tastes.
Yet I stay in my church because of the community and I’m trying to figure out how to be true to myself. Am I a leech? Using their love for my own purposes? How can I call myself a friend when I keep singing about this Jesus I no longer believe in? How am I true to them when I go silent as they call me to remember their loved one in prayer? I no longer have fervent petitions to offer up on their behalf. Am I a hypocrite?
And then there is my mother. Just one year ago I was a model Christian. Faithful to Sunday all day, Choirs, Bible studies, Prayer Team. I testified every chance I got. I believed with all my heart that I was doing God’s work and had finally found my true purpose for living. I repented of every wrong… well not all… I still held on to being a proud fornicator and the fighter against sexual orientation discrimination in all its evil forms. But I did turn it all over to God with the assurance that he would make it all for the good. She is so happy that her only daughter is going to heaven. Lastly there are my children. How do I raise them now? They call every one at church “Auntie” and “Uncle”. They are so very loved there. So I take them to church with me, but I cringe when they talk about Jesus dying for our sins. Am I crazy?
I admit that when I was in a VERY dark place in my life, it was my church that saw me through it. I found comfort in my progressive and very open-minded parish. I have feelings of betrayal… to them…. To me…
All I know is I love to sing and I love my (church) family.
As for the rest I’m a burger that’s all bun. Thanks for listening.