It’s interesting, I was raised in a Christian home, weekends revolved around church, and friends at church. I went to a Christian University and taught in a Christian school.
I realised that people are the same if they are Christian or not. If they are stressed they are not very nice. No different to non Christian people. In fact sometimes worse.
I always wanted to be real and challenge the system. When I went to pubs to play guitar I was told that wasn’t appropriate.
When I sang in church it felt a bit contrived and people were easily offended by things like drums or similar. The worship music was no different to mainstream music like ColdPlay or similar. In fact i felt something fresh at a Coldplay concert I went to.
I’ve since learnt that depression I’ve battled with on and off for most of my life was born from high standards of behaviour set at church, and at home.
The feeling of being different to my school friends, not having friends outside church, giving your time away to everyone else and rescuing down and outers who need help didn’t really teach me self love or healthy boundaries. Never went to parties or played sport on Saturday because that was gods day. You get the idea...
I burnt out several times, and went back to church to ask god to help me... it felt good but as time went on I learnt that many of these church services are manipulating people into giving and reinforce the idea that if you cheer forward Jesus, listen to his music, help the needy you’ll be blessed.
When the pastors wife got throat cancer it was a big deal and everyone prayed and she was healed by surgery. (Praise god they said)
Not long after, a lady on the worship team got cancer and died in a few months, leaving a hubby and two kids behind. This wasn’t talked about much.. it was sad and she was loved, but it didn’t support the story they need to keep members engaged. Inconvenient outcome.
The pastor is a lovely guy, but he says the spirit tells him there is one more person who wants to put up their hand and accept Christ as the music builds during the weekly alter call. Everyone claps.
I think it’s a great community but it comes with an expectation to give and help out and not to mention give financially.
For me, freedom isn’t going to church to spend the weekends talking about the same old thing... or hear all about amazing the next event is going to be so bring your friends along... that’s not freedom. You are being asked to market their programs...
I love people, I love helping people because it feels good and it’s a higher way to live. I also don’t expect god to see it, and bless me. I don’t want to weave it into a Sunday school service as an example of how to serve.
I don’t want to come across like I’m knocking Christians either... there are some fine humans in that crowd, but I just don’t believe we go up into heaven when we die. What rubbish!
What I do know... is that I don’t know.. simple. I’m ok with that:)