My mother was a Christian. My mother’s-mother was a Christian. My mother’s-mother’s-mother was a christian. I am a Christian. Now, while in the middle of another Sunday morning of teaching my children to become a Christians, I start to question my motives. All I came up with was, “well because mother was a christian. My mother’s-mother was a christian. My mother’s-mother’s-mother was a christian”. That made me think. . . . Shouldn’t there be a more compelling reason other than following family tradition?
That was me 3 years ago. I made “the conversion” and have never looked back. Not that I have anything against Christianity, or any religion for that matter. I do believe there is more to this world than just what we can touch, taste, smell, hear and see. I just had too many questions that never receive a very clear answer. The more I started to look deeper into the contradictions, the more confused and removed from religion I became.
For instance, we learn that God is an all-loving, all-forgiving God yet if we do something “they” believe is wrong (commonly called a sin, which, if you’re not familiar with religion, is an endless no-no list of the things NOT-to-do. Christianity is built around this list) and forget to say sorry . . . um . . repent, before we die he will banish us to the fiery pits to burn forever. Now that’s love. We are also taught that Jesus was reincarnated and that we too will and have lived many lives on this earth. So how can one reasonably believe that we are eternal, that our spirit will live forever, God loves all of his creations with a love that no human can even fathom but if we mess up on this life all that comes to a bitter end?
Really? Which is it? Are we eternal or is this our last shot so repent every 5 minutes or burn? Does He forgive us of all our sins or will he punish me forever? Do we have free will or is it all preordained? Do I have to sacrifice a small goat to prove my love or does he already know the hearts of all men?
These and many other questions is what started my mental conversion before the physical. It was hard the first few times skipping out on Sunday service. It was even tougher hearing your cookie-baking, oven mitt wearing sweet little old grandmother calling you a “heathen”. But in the end I took my biggest sign from a t-shirt someone was wearing at the fair of the name brand Not Of This World. Their slogan simply states “Not a Religion. Just a Relationship”. That is the basis of my new journey into self discovery.
I have recently found there are what they call Unity Churches that base their teachings with a similar principle. It was reassuring to know there were others out there like myself. I now know there is a Higher Power out there. I just choose to see him/her/them in a different light. That means minus the judgmental overlooking and the pitchforks and fire. If I am wrong, at least now I am free to no longer live in fear and I don’t have to play “Name that Sin” on my Bar-b-Que days.